Simson leads suspended U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship
Richmond, TX (Sports Network) - Paul Simson could be stopped only by mother nature on Saturday, shooting a six-under through 16 holes to lead the suspended U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
A 2 1/2-hour delay due to inclement weather at Shadow Hawk Golf Club prevented first-round play from being completed, as the round was eventually called at 8:14 p.m. (et) due to darkness. A total of 99 golfers will return to the course at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday to resume play and subsequently begin the second round.
Simson is the 2010 Senior Amateur champ and had a good run at last week's event, making it all the way to the quarterfinals before losing to Philip Pleat. He's a five-time USGA stroke-play medalist, including the 2004 Mid- Amateur.
The clubhouse leader is Mike McCaffrey, who shot a four-under 68, including a 30-foot birdie on the 17th. Unfortunately for McCaffrey, he finished his round with a double-bogey.
"It was bittersweet," McCaffrey said of the ending. "Everything in between (eight birdies) was pretty decent, though. I drove it in play and I hit it very decent and I putted it really well. I rolled the ball real well today. I only missed a couple of putts all day long."
Two-time defending champion Nathan Smith also got off to a good start with a two-under 70. A three-time winner of this event, Smith is looking to become the first person to win three consecutive Mid-Amateur titles. Jim Stuart is the only other golfer to win two straight (1990-91).
"As for my legacy and winning it three times, that's something I've never really thought about," said Smith, who also won in 2003. "I'm just like everybody else, and we're all kind of going after the same thing."
Trailing McCaffrey in the clubhouse by one at three-under 69 are David Noll, Jr., Scott Kammann, Jimmy Chang, Michael McCoy and Scott Stevens. Chris Chuck was at minus-three midway through his round.
After 36 holes of stroke play, the field will be reduced to 64 players for an ensuing match play tournament that concludes on Thursday.
09/17 22:45:27 ET