PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Mike Martin and Peter Ballo were last off the tee, but finished atop the leaderboard Tuesday at the PGA Senior-Junior Team Championship.
Martin of New Haven, Ct., and Ballo of Stamford, Ct., made an eagle and seven birdies for a 9-under 63 on the Dye Course to take a two-shot lead at PGA Golf Club.
Ballo eagled the par-5 fifth and had two birdies while Martin added five birdies. They are bogey-free and 15-under during the first 36 holes.
The teams of John Faidley-Steve Isley, Chip Johnson-Liam Friedman and Craig Bowden-Brett Melton are tied for second midway through the 72-hole event.
Faidley of Winston Salem, N.C., and Isley of Oak Island, N.C., shot a bogey-free 62 on the Wanamaker Course to move to 13-under 131. Johnson of Hingham, Ma., and Friedman of Concord, Ma., bogeyed the 18th hole on the Wanamaker Course for a 65. Bowden and Melton had a bogey-free 65 on the Dye.
Mark Brown and Matt Dobyns, who won this championship two years ago, shot a 63 on the Ryder Course, thanks to a pair of eagles by Dobyns on the back nine. He hit a 6-iron to 30 feet on the 13th and a 3-wood to 30 feet at the 17th.
“You want to attack as much as you can,” Dobyns said, “but the key is when your partner has a bad hole, to do damage control and make a par. We know we can win this, so we don’t have to worry about that. It’s just doing the same thing we’ve been doing.”
Brown of Oyster Bay, N.Y. and Dobyns of Glen Head, N.Y., are tied for fifth at 12-under 132 with Bill Andrews of Greenland, N.H., and Griffin Andrews of Rye, N.H., who shot a 29 on the back nine for a 63; first-round leaders Gary Robison of North Canton, Ohio and Greg Boyette of Awendaw, S.C. (67); and Marty Deangelo of Medinah, Ill., and Travis Johns of Oswego, Ill., (64).
Kevin Morris, who won this championship twice with Frank Bensel, and Matt Sita are tied for ninth (63-133) with defending champions Darrell Kestner and Sean Quinlivan (64) and two other teams.
The 72-hole event is being played on the Wanamaker, Ryder and Dye courses at PGA Golf Club. The 54-hole cut to the low 40 teams and ties is projected to be 9-under.
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