07/05/12 — County's best prepare to tee it up

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County's best prepare to tee it up

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on July 5, 2012 1:48 PM

There are a lot of reasons to believe that the 2012 Wayne County Amateur will be the most hotly contested event in the tournament's history.

And the soaring summer temperatures have nothing to do with it.

All three champions from last year return to defend their respective division titles. Lionel Sutton will step on the first tee at Southern Wayne Country Club on Friday as the defending open division champion. Tim Rose is the reigning senior division champ and title holder John Zambelli is once again among the favorites in the super senior division.

"We have a full field of 144 players and it is a very good field," tournament organizer Parker King said. "The past two years we have had a waiting list and I think that goes to show how popular the tournament has become with the top amateur players in Wayne County."

After beginning at SWCC on Friday, the tournament will shift to Lane Tree Golf Club for second round action on Saturday. The final round will be played at Walnut Creek Country Club on Sunday.

"The course rotation this season is going to be tough because each course offers something different," King said. "Southern Wayne is a place where there will be a wide array of scores and guys have potential to either start strong or fall apart early. Lane Tree is playing harder than it ever has which makes gaining ground on Saturday tough and Walnut Creek is always a great golf challenge.

"Traditionally, the rounds at Walnut Creek are not going to be much below par so that is going to put extra emphasis on scoring in the first two rounds."

The strategy of stalking the leaders and charging in the final round will be tough to pull off. More likely, the leaders after two days will be in survival mode at Walnut Creek.

"I have a feeling that this year it is going to come down to protecting a lead," King said. "I think that if the leader shoots par on the final day, it will be hard for anyone to go low and take it away."

The 2012 Wayne County Amateur is being sponsored by Andy's Burgers, Shakes and Fries. Other contributing sponsors of the tournament include Bent8Design, Vinson Electric, The Herritage Bank, AccuCopy, Lee Hyundai, First Tee Golf Shop, Hanson Pipe and Precast, The Village Steakhouse and Democko Chiropractic.