GODFREY — It looks like a spirited fight to the finish Sunday in the finals of the 36-hole Godfrey Open golf tournament.
Four players share the lead after 18 holes following Saturday’s competition at the par-71 Rolling Hills Golf Course in Godfrey. Six more golfers are within striking distance of the leaders.
The closing round could rival last year’s frantic finish that featured a four-way tie with scores of 143 after 36 holes. Scott Redman then prevailed on the fifth playoff hole to claim his first Godfrey Open championship.
Halfway through this year’s tournament, it’s Brian Gebben, Pat Moore, Evan Franklin and J Ryan Waters tied for the lead. All four golfers carded 1-under par scores of 70 the first day. Moore finished fifth in the 2014 event.
Mark Strain is one shot behind the leaders. He shot 71, or par. Ryan Coughlin, Jonathan Braswell and Scott Horton checked in with scores of 72. Redman logged a 73, as did Kyle Hogan, who battled Redman through five playoff holes last year.
In Seniors play, defending champion Dee Ketchum shot a 2-under 69 to grab a two-shot lead over Dick Dequasie. Bob VanDoren is third at 74. Ketchum registered a 5-under 137 to win the 2014 Seniors competition.
Kolten Bauer, an incoming freshman at Marquette Catholic, is the first-day leader among the amateur players. He recorded a 76, one shot better than Michael Holtz and two strokes ahead of Drew Sobol.
Play resumes at 8 a.m. Sunday and Rolling Hills director of golf Kyle Williams expects the final 18 holes, showcasing five flights, to provide more lively competition. The last group figures to tee off at about 11 a.m.
“We have 90 players overall and this is our main event of the year,” he said of the Godfrey Open. “We’d really like it to grow in the future and hope to have a field of more than 100 players in it consistently. It's a very playable course and there's a lot of crossover among the players for this tournament and the Gold Medal one."
Williams should know. He won the Gold Medal championship in 2007.
“We’ve had good support for this tournament," he said of the Godfrey Open, "but we would love to get more sponsorship for it."