By Ed Greif
What a difference a year makes for the Tennessee State Senior Men's Open at Stonehenge Golf Club. Last year, rain washed out the tournament after 18 holes making co-champions out of Harry Taylor and Danny Green, but a record 143 players for this event were greeted with sunny, breezy skies and some early morning frost Monday for the opening round of the tournament.
There is a new twist to this year's tournament — two divisions, a regular senior division (50-64) and a super senior (65 and over). Players teed off in two waves — double crossover from the first and 10th tees, both in the morning and afternoon, with the divisions repaired for Tuesday's second round.
No one was under par after the first round in the senior division.
Danny Briggs of Franklin, Bill Hickey of Knoxville and Richard Smith of Dreden were in a three-way tie at one-over par 73, while four others, amateurs Tony Green of Kingsport, Paul Korth of Cookeville and Steve Golliher of Knoxville and professional Rob Long of Clarksville, were tied at two-over par 74.
Crossville's Eddie Wyatt shot a six-over par 78 and was tied with 11 overs for 22nd place, while Jeff Heston of Crossville was tied for 108th at 20-over par 92.
Taylor was one of three players to withdraw from the regular senior division, which had 116 players.
The only player to match par 72 was amateur Ron Kilgore of Knoxville in the super senior division. He has a three-stroke lead over amateur Mike Nixon of Nashville (65) and four-stroke lead over amateurs Steven Kehrer of Crossville and Dan Schorsten of Nashville.
Crossville amateur Tony Cox is tied for sixth at seven-over par 79 with two others, while amateur Terry Levix of Crossville is tied for ninth at nine-over par 79. Amateur John Partain of Crossville is tied for 11th at 11-over par 83.
At the start of the day, there were 26 in the super senior division. Amateur Pat Ryan withdrew.