Live From: 27th Lexus MGA Senior Open Championship
EDISON, N.J. (August 28, 2023) -- The final round of the 27th Lexus MGA Senior Open Championship will begin with a packed leaderboard at Plainfield Country Club as 18 players carded rounds of even-par 72 or better on Monday, with Mike Gilmore of Winged Foot Golf Club leading the way with a 4-under 68. Those chasing the 2000 Met Open champion have plenty of experience and accolades as well, as all six past Senior Open champions that made the cut are within four shots.
Gilmore had six birdies in Monday's opening round, including three over his final five holes. For Gilmore, his play at Plainfield stemmed from his play in the Met Open last week.
“I had a good second round at Arcola last week and it kind of got me where I am right now, so I was feeling pretty good today,” said Gilmore, 58.
With lots of players on the chase, Gilmore aims to focus on his game and his swing on Tuesday. “I’m just going to try to relax and play golf like I did today," he said. "Just play, not put any stress on myself, just hit it and see what happens.”
Two-time winner of both the Senior Open and Met Open Mark Mielke and amateur Craig Maerki begin the day just one shot back after opening 3-under 69s on Monday morning. Mielke, defending champion Frank Esposito Jr., of Mountain Ridge (2020, 2022) and Bill Britton of Trump National Colts Neck (2006, 2017) all have the chance to become the first player to win the Senior Open three times in their career.
The final round begins at 8:00 a.m. with the final pairing of Gilmore and Maerki teeing off at 9:45 a.m.
Plainfield, a founding member of the MGA, is hosting its 18th MGA event in its history. It last welcomed the 2021 Met Amateur and is one of 19 clubs to have hosted all three MGA majors – the Ike, Amateur and Open.