Davidson Leads Art Wall After Round 1
CAMP HILL, Pa. - Clay Davidson had a built-in advantage heading into the first round of the 18th Art Wall Jr. Memorial Championship. As a West Shore Country Club member, he knows the ins and outs of the golf course. But despite that, he faced a course on Monday that was different from what he’s played all year long. Recent rains have finally softened a course that usually plays firm and fast, and Davidson took advantage to shoot an opening round 69 (-3) for a one-shot lead in the 36-hole championship, which is presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.
“This is the one time this year that the course has been drenched like this,” said Davidson. “The greens were soft so it was easy to hit wedges close today.”
The championship is for golfers aged 40 and up, and the 51-year old Davidson carded six birdies in his round to take a one-shot advantage over Rick Stimmel into Tuesday’s final round. His opening nine started with a birdie on the par-4 first hole, but that was followed by eight pars. The second nine was nothing like this first, with five birdies, three bogeys and a lone par to complete the round. The key for the day for Davidson?
“Ball striking,” he said. “I hit it close all day long.”
And when hitting it close at West Shore, it helps to be a member.
“The advantage is understanding the greens. They have a lot of undulation here. Knowing where to miss certainly makes it a little bit easier,” explained Davidson. “Sometimes if you miss on the short side here, the ups and downs are very, very difficult.”
Highlighted in the birdies on the back side was a near eagle on the par-4 15th, where Davidson’s approach shot nearly went in and ended up just inches away from the cup.
He heads into Tuesday’s final round with a one-shot lead over Stimmel, of Diamond Run Golf Club. A group of four players are two shots behind at even par 72 - Jason Wilson of Olde Homestead Golf Club, Arnie Cutrell of Greensburg Country Club, Matt Dolinsky of Honeybrook Golf Club and David Blichar of Olde Homestead Golf Club. Defending champ Eric Williams is tied for 19th at 4-over par.
The Pennsylvania Golf Association would like to thank the staff and membership of West Shore Country Club for the hospitality shown during the championship. Thanks as well to DICK’S Sporting Goods for sponsorship of the event.