FAIRFAX, Calif. – Mike Rowley of San Luis Obispo, Calif. fired an opening round 4-under-par 67 on a blustery day at Meadow Club and leads the Senior Division by one stroke. Daniel Ragsdale of Westlake Village, Calif., Brad Wilder of Fort Wright, Ky. and Cullen Brasfield of La Quinta, Calif. lead the Mid-Master Division. John Donnelly of Petaluma, Calif. leads the Super Senior Division, while James Martin of Dallas and Chris Maletis of Portland, Ore. are tied atop the leaderboard in the Legends Division.
Rowley, who won the 2019 Northern California Senior Championship, began his first round with a birdie on the par-5 first hole. He never slowed down and carded consecutive birdies on the par-3 fifth and par-4 sixth. His only dropped shot of the day came on the par-4 seventh and he turned at 2-under 33. Rowley played the back nine bogey free and added birdies on the par-4 10th and par-5 13th.
Rowley came into this year’s Trans-Mississippi Senior & Mid-Master Championship playing great golf. He recently recorded a top-15 finish at the Golfweek Senior Amateur Championship in April and finished seventh at the Jones Cup Senior Invitational in March. He holds a one-stroke lead over Gene Elliot of West Des Moines, Iowa heading into Wednesday’s second round.
Randy Haag of Orinda, Calif. is solo third and two strokes back at 2-under par, while Mark Morgan of Shingle Springs, Calif. and Steve Maddalena of Jackson, Miss. are tied fourth after rounds of 1-under-par 70.
The Senior Division teed off in the morning wave. And despite a steady breeze, it was nothing compared to the afternoon winds that swept through the Meadow Club as the Mid-Master, Super Senior and Legends Divisions began their opening rounds
In the Mid-Master Division, Ragsdale, Wilder and Brasfield all carded rounds of even-par 71. Despite the difficult conditions, the three of them combined for 14 birdies (Ragsdale, six; Wilder, three; Brasfield, five).
“There are some holes out there where you have to just hold on and hope something good happens,” Ragsdale said. “You’re going to make some birdies, but you’re also going to make some bogeys at this place. At our age, in our mid-40s, this isn’t what we do for a living. We’re out there trying to compete, but it’s not necessarily all about score.”
Ragsdale, Wilder and Brasfield share a two-stroke lead heading into the second round. John Bearrie of Marana, Ariz. is solo fourth after an opening 1-over-par 72, while Marc Engellenner of Rocklin, Calif. and Christopher Peeke of Redlands, Calif. round out the top-6 at 2-over par.
In the Super Senior Division, Donnelly complemented a bogey-free 1-under-par 34 on his opening nine with a 1-over-par 37 on the back side. His even-par round is enough to lead the division by one with 36 holes to play. Neil Duffy of Santa Cruz, Calif. and Jim Knoll of Sunnyvale, Calif. are tied third at 1-over par.
Martin and Maletis lead the Legends Division after carding rounds of 3-over-par 74. Patrick Rohan of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. is two shots back of the lead at 5-over, while Craig Campbell of Midland, Texas is in solo fourth at 6-over par through Round 1.
The first Trans-Mississippi Senior Championship was held in 2000 at White Bear Yacht Club. In 2011, the TMGA expanded the championship to include a Super Senior Division (players aged 65 and older). As the association and event continued to grow, a Legends Division (players aged 70 and older) was added in 2013. Five years later, the TMGA created a Mid-Master Division (players aged 40 and older) and it has continued to attract some of the best mid-amateurs from around the country.
Founded in 1927, Meadow Club holds the distinction as the first golf course in North America designed by renowned golf course architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie. In collaboration with Robert Hunter, MacKenzie crafted a championship layout within the Bon Tempe Meadow on Mt. Tamalpias. Its natural beauty is complimented by meandering creeks, subtle elevation changes and incredible views and is a demanding test for players of all levels. Meadow Club has played host to many elite amateur championships, including the 2013 Trans-Mississippi Amateur won by 8-time PGA Tour winner Bryson DeChambeau.
About the Trans-Mississippi Golf Association
The Trans-Mississippi Golf Association is one of the oldest and most prestigious golf organizations in the United States. Established in 1901, the Trans-Mississippi is composed of over 200 member clubs located throughout the country. The Association is governed by a board of independent directors and is headquartered in Dallas, TX.
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