Fenwick Jumps Out Front During Soggy First Round at MGA Senior Amateur
September 25, 2023 | 3 min.
By Nick Hunter
WAYZATA, Minn. – Rolling in three birdies over his first eight holes in wet conditions Monday at Wayzata Country Club helped Scott Fenwick to a round of 3-under 69 to take the early lead at the 102nd Minnesota Golf Association Senior Amateur Championship.
In search of his first state victory in 18 years, Fenwick will take a one-stroke lead over former champion John Brellenthin to Tuesday’s second round.
“Overall, it was a good ball-striking day. I hit a lot of greens, and didn’t make too many mistakes,” Fenwick said following his opening round Monday. “I was in play all day and I felt comfortable on the greens, which something I’ve struggled with.”
A soaking rain led to unplayable conditions and a stoppage of nearly an hour and a half Monday before play was suspended once again due to darkness with nine foursomes left on the course.
The championship will resume at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, followed by the start of the second round.
Making his first start at a senior event this week, the 55-year-old Fenwick began his round Monday by rolling in his birdie chance from inside of eight feet at the par-4 third.
He followed it by converting his birdie chance from four feet at the fifth and nearly holed out for an ace at the par-3 eighth, leaving a 9-iron just four inches from the cup to turn in 3-under for the day.
Fenwick, of Southview Country Club, moved to 4-under for the round with his birdie at the 12th, but gave back a stroke with a three-putt bogey at the 13th.
Trading a birdie at the 14th with a bogey at the 15th, Fenwick would take the early clubhouse lead at 3-under 69.
“Expectations are pretty low because I haven’t played a competitive round in a while,” said Fenwick, who enters the week struggling with back issues in recent months. “Still battling back with that and aggravate it once in a while.
“If the course is wet, it’ll play longer and make it more difficult, but I would like to go out a shoot a couple more rounds around even par. Hopefully make a few birdies, but that’s where I’d like to be.”
Fenwick’s first state championship win came in 2005 when he teamed up with John Anderson, Bill Tadewald and Mark Boettcher to win the MGA Amateur Team Championship at Somerby Golf Club.
Riding momentum from a win for the second straight season with partner Tim Peterson at the MGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship two weeks ago, Brellenthin bounced back from an early bogey to begin his first round Monday with a birdie at his eighth hole to turn in even par for the championship.
Brellenthin, the defending MGA Senior Men’s Player of the Year carded his second bogey of the round at his 13th hole before finishing with three consecutive birdies to post a 2-under 70, looking for his second win at the event in three seasons.
The former University of Minnesota golfer became the first player in 20 years to win the MGA Senior Amateur on his home course at The Minikahda Club when he claimed a two-stroke victory at the weather-shortened 2021 championship.
A pair of birdies over his final six holes Monday helped 2023 MGA Senior Players’ runner-up Mark Aldrich to a round of 1-under 71. He’ll start the second round in a share of third place with the 2021 MGA Senior Men’s Player of the Year Peterson.
Action at the 102nd MGA Senior Amateur Championship resumes at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at Wayzata Country Club.