Roday/Woodson Lead After First Round of 7th VSGA Super Senior Four-Ball Championship
By Arthur Utley
BRISTOL – First-timers Leon Roday and Jim Woodson posted a 7-under-par 64 on Tuesday at The Virginian Golf Club and claimed the overnight lead after the first round of the seventh Virginia State Golf Association Super Senior Four-Ball Championship.
All players are 65 years of age and older. The 36-hole tournament concludes Wednesday. Roday (Henrico, Kinloch GC), the reigning VSGA Super Senior Stroke Play champion, and Woodson (Powhatan, Mill Quarter) are eligible for the Super Senior Four-Ball for the first time, and it’s the first time they have partnered in a tournament.
“I’m pretty sure I may be the youngest guy in the tournament,” said Woodson, who turned 65 last Sunday.
Overnight rain continued into mid- to late-morning and led the VSGA to allow players to lift, clean and place. The forecast is for more rain Tuesday night.
“We started out, it was raining substantially, but we got to take our rain gear off and play. It drizzled a little bit off and on, but other than that we were very fortunate,” Woodson said. “The course was fabulous even though we had rain. We were hitting off Zoysia fairways… that’s like sitting on top of a coffee table. It was just perfect…the putts roll where you aim them.”
Despite the conditions, 15 teams broke par. Roday/Woodson have a one-stroke lead over the Roanoke tandem of Bill Nunnenkamp/James Wright and Jimmy Angel (Midlothian, Salisbury CC)/Bert Wilson (Mechanicsville, Jefferson-Lakeside CC). Each side shot 6-under 65.
Another stroke back after returning 5-under 66s are the sides of Jeff Hudgins (Richmond, Country Club of Virginia)/Van McCarter (Blue Ridge, Blue Hills GC) and Mike Ancel (Newport News, Newport News CC)/ Terry Towler (Dillwyn, The Manor GC). Boonsboro CC partners Bert Allen (Forest)/John Bruce (Lynchburg) carded 4-under 67, and three sides, Jeff Fleishman (Williamsburg, Two Rivers CC/Jim Cooper (The Virginian, Kingsport, TN), 2017 champions Charles Green III (Bristol, The Virginian)/Bob Rotella (Keswick, Glenmore CC) and The Virginian members Mark Stephens (Bristol)/Tony Green (Kingsport, TN), trail by four after shooting 3-under 68s.
Four sides are at 2-under 69.
The defending champions, John Cuomo (Richmond, Stonehenge G&CC) and J.P. Leigh (Suffolk, Elizabeth Manor G&CC), posted 1-under 70. Roday/Woodson bogeyed the first hole then rang up eight birdies in putting together nines of 32-32. Woodson contributed five birdies to the cause, and Roday added three birdies.
“Both of us played very well. We kept the ball in play, and we made some putts when we needed to. Other than the first hole we were both in the holes most of the day,” said Woodson, who added there wasn’t much stress to the round. “After the last hole, we shook hands and we got to the cart and neither one of us knew what we shot.” This is the first since 1968 that the first of August has come round and Woodson isn’t on a football field as a player or coach.
“I’m trying to keep myself occupied and busy, playing golf, competing. I like the part of competing against my mind. You can’t compete successfully if your mind’s on other things. You’ve got to focus on what you are doing. It’s good therapy,” he said.
Nunnenkamp and Wright have played local events in Roanoke together, but this is the first time they have paired in a VSGA tournament.
“We got off to a slow start on the front. We were only one under. And then I got hot on the back and birdied 10, 13, 14, 15 and 18,” Wright said. “The course played long. It was wet. We just got hot on the back. It was a lot of fun. Bill made a couple of good par saves that kept us rolling.”
Like Wright, Angel got hot on the back nine to propel his side into one of the top positions on the leaderboard.
“We made six birdies, no bogeys and as always, we still missed two or three birdie putts inside of 10 feet,” Wilson said. “It was a good day. Most of that score was Jimmy’s, and he played really well, but as a team, we did a pretty good job too.”
They turned the front nine 1-under. Angel birdied Nos. 10, 11, 13 and 15, and Wilson holed a long putt for birdie at the 16th.
Arthur Utley is a retired Richmond Times-Dispatch staff writer and frequent contributor to VSGA championship coverage.