EVERETT – The golf course was in great shape and the weather was almost as good.
In other words, there was an opportunity for some dandy scores during Monday’s second round of the 75th-annual Snohomish County Amateur golf tournament at Legion Memorial Golf Course.
It didn’t happen.
For the second day in a row, just three competitors in the first-division field of 64 managed to better par. Through two rounds, only four golfers are under par, none by more than three strokes.
Remarkably, not one golfer in this tournament has a score in the 60s – meaning a round of 3-under-par or better at par-72 Mill Creek Country Club during Sunday’s first round and on Monday at par-72 Legion Memorial.
“I just think it’s because we’re all amateurs,” said defending champion Alex Stamey, who carded a 2-under 70 on Monday and sits fourth at 1-under 143. “It’s hard for amateurs to go really low unless you really get it going.”
Professional golfers “are obviously a different story,” he said, “but they’re in a different league than we are. We’re amateurs, so no one is really going to tear these courses up too much. It’s tough to shoot low, it really is.”
Ordinarily, Stamey said, “I wouldn’t be real happy and I wouldn’t be real disappointed” with a two-round total of 1-under. However, given that no one else is much better, leaving him just two strokes off the lead, “then I’m fine with it.”
Heading into next Sunday’s traditional final round at Everett Golf and Country Club, first place belongs to Lance Kilbride, who represents Mukilteo’s Harbour Pointe Golf Course. Kilbride, playing in just his third County Am, followed Sunday’s 70 at Mill Creek with a 71 on Monday for a 3-under 141.
That total is one stroke better than Mill Creek’s Kelly Denessen and EG&CC’s Zack Shriver, who are at 142.
Kilbride, Denessen, Shriver and Stamey will comprise the last of three “Feature Foursomes” with afternoon starting times next Sunday at EG&CC.
That quartet will tee off at 12:50 p.m., preceded by the foursome of Harbour Pointe’s Reid Martin (145), EG&CC’s Steve Peterson (145), EG&CC’s Steve Johnson (146), and Mill Creek’s LeRoy Clement (147) at 12:40 p.m.
The first of the afternoon foursomes, teeing off at 12:30 p.m., will be EG&CC’s Stephen Lee (147), EG&CC’s Jacob Koppenberg (147), Harbour Pointe’s Bob Burton (147) and Legion Memorial’s Jack Kelly (147).
Kilbride, an assistant superintendent at Harbour Pointe, had a back-and-forth round on Monday. A former college player at the University of Nevada-Reno, he had five birdies and four bogeys over Legion Memorial’s spacious, well-manicured layout.
At one point, consecutive bogeys dropped him back to even par, but he rallied over the last 10 holes with four birdies and one bogey.
The round, Kilbride said, “was pretty solid for the most part.” Though his driver persistently strayed to the right, “my putting was good. That was the best part of my game, the putting.”
Kilbride’s boss and sometimes swing coach at Harbour Pointe is head superintendent and assistant pro Keith Coleman, a two-time winner of the Washington Open and the 1998 County Am champ.
“I’m trying to bring the title back for the (Harbour Pointe) greens crew,” Kilbride said with a chuckle.
Denessen, meanwhile, had shared the first-round lead with Kilbride, but could manage just a single birdie (with one bogey) in Monday’s round. The culprit, he said, was a timid putter.
“I probably hit almost every fairway (off the tee) and 17 greens (in regulation), but I did not make a putt,” he said with a rueful smile.
The greens at Mill Creek on Sunday had been extremely quick, he explained, while the greens at Legion Memorial “were a little bit slower, maybe even a lot slower.”
“I just couldn’t get the putter going to the right speed for these greens,” Denessen said. “Everything was 8 inches short, 10 inches short, a foot short. I could have been 65 or 66 easy today, but I just couldn’t get myself to hit it hard enough.”
“The greens weren’t as fast as they were (Sunday) and we had to adjust to that,” Stamey agreed. “But still they rolled fantastic. If you read the putt right, it went in.”
With the field so tightly bunched, Stamey figures several golfers have realistic chances at victory when the tournament reconvenes Sunday.
“It’s anybody’s ballgame,” he said. “Anybody within six, seven or eight shots has still got a chance if they can have a good round at Everett.”
The second division, for golfers with handicaps of 6.6 to 12.0, and the third division, for those with handicaps of 12.1 and up, played their seconds rounds at Mill Creek.
The second division low-net leader is Harbour Pointe’s Jeff Olsen, who posted his second straight 67 for a 134 total that is two shots better than Kayak Point’s Marty Loberg.
Battle Creek’s Skip Adams had a low-net 66 Monday for a 136 total and a two-stroke lead over Cedarcrest’s Jerald Songsteng in the third division.