MERIDEN — Will the savvy 64-year-old veteran claim a record-breaking eleventh City of Meriden Golf Championship or will an 18-year old teenager spoil his try and lay claim to his first title?
That is the question to be answered today when the Meriden City Championship completes its second round at Hunter Golf Club.
Entering today’s final 18 holes, 10-time titlist Les Zimmerman is tied for the lead with Nick Shemkovitz after each posted a round of 4-over par 75 on Saturday. A win would give Zimmerman his 11th City Golf Championship, breaking a tie with the late Ron Victor Sr. for the most ever.
Shemkovitz is moving up to the older division after winning the last three City Junior Championships. The 18-year old St. Paul Catholic High School graduate was just 2-over par on the 9th tee, only to see his tee shot sail out of bounds into the cemetery that abuts the 9th fairway, leading to a double-bogey 6.
“I putted and scrambled very well today,” Shemkovitz said. “Then on the back nine I finally hit some greens. He (Zimmerman) is so consistent, it’s just great to watch him play. Hopefully, tomorrow I can shoot around the same score, but I have to be a lot more consistent than I played today.”
Zimmerman had two birdies on the 7th and 17th holes en route to his 75.
“Those were the only one putts I made all day,” Zimmerman said. “I hit it pretty well, but didn’t putt or chip well. I was 0-for-4 on up-and downs and 0-for 1 out of the bunker. Meanwhile, Nick chipped and putted very well. At least I’m still in the hunt, depending on what somebody does behind us.”
The only score that threatened the leaders was a 77 posted by Kevin Grobsky.
In an unusual pairing, Zimmerman was teamed with three-time junior champion Shemkovitz and four-time junior winner Spencer Wedge, who carded a 7-over par 78.
“About the only thing I did all day was kill the average age of my group,” Zimmerman said. “I made the turn in 2-over and then proceeded to run off three straight bogeys on the 13th, 14th and 15th holes.”
Meanwhile, Katie Grobsky opened a six-shot lead over four other women in her bid to repeat and claim her seventh City Women’s Championship. Sue Grenert was in second place after the first 18 holes with a 94, six shots off Grobsky’s 88.
“Actually I chipped and putted well, Grobsky said. “I didn’t hit one good drive. I didn’t hit one good second shot. Today I saw parts of the course I’ve never seen before, but my up-and-downs saved me. I’m usually down the middle with my driver, but today I was all over the place.”
In other action Saturday, Howie Benane came in with a 78 to take a one-shot lead over Del Weston in the First Flight. Rick Merliss carded an 85 in the Second Flight to take a one-shot lead over Brian Rossi, Don Lamb and Brad Froggatt.
Dick Crane and Fernando Solis were deadlocked atop the Third Flight with scores of 87, eight shots ahead of Larry Kendzior and Dan Schipritt.