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Gross Leads Dressler with First Round 62


The conditions were conducive for low scoring at LedgeRock Golf Club Monday in the first round of the two-day 83rd George Dressler Memorial Championship hosted by The Pennsylvania Golf Association (PAGA). Favorable winds, firm fairways and nearly perfect greens led to 17 players in the championship division being at par or better at the end of their rounds.

High school phenom and University of Alabama commit, Nicholas Gross of Kennett Square Golf and Country Club, put together a spectacular nine birdie, one eagle 10-under round to post a four-shot lead after day one. The current top-ranked player in the country’s latest WAGR Senior rankings, Rick Stimmel of Connoquenessing Country Club is in second place at -6 followed by a pair of LedgeRock members, William Smith at -5 and Brock Kovach at -4.


The reigning PAGA Super Senior Player of the Year, Brian Rothaus from Five Ponds Golf Club was the only player in his division in red numbers but is being chased by three players at even par in Joe Weiscarger (Wyoming Valley Country Club), Don Donatoni (White Manor Country Club) and Stonewall’s Larry Martone.

It is a clash of generations that will happen in the championship’s final grouping Tuesday as the 17-year-old Gross is paired with veterans Stimmel, 56, and Smith, 55. All three have regional and national golf credentials on their resumes. They combined for 23 birdies and an eagle in the first round.

Gross started hot and stayed that way for almost the entire round enroute to a sparkling 62. After birdieing the second hole he had his lone eagle of the day at the par four third hole. He added birdies at numbers 5, 6 and 8 to turn in a 30 on the front nine. He started the back nine in the same fashion with a 2 on the 175-yard par three and strung four more birdies together on holes 12 through 15. His only hiccup of the day was a bogey at 17.

Stimmel had two birdies and his lone bogey in a three-hole stretch on holes 3 through 5, but made his move to deep red territory with five birdies in a row on holes 11 through 14 and capped the round by reaching the par five 18th and adding a 4 there to finish at 66. Smith’s 67 included a three-birdie front nine and four more on the back.  He bunched his birdies as well with five in the last seven holes. Only a pair of bogeys at seven and 15 blemished an otherwise solid round. While competing for the overall title, Stimmel and Smith are also battling for top honors in the Senior division.

Rothaus started the day with a bogey but birdies at holes 3 and 4 got him to red numbers for the first time in the round. Two more bogeys on the front and a birdie at 10 left him even par and he went into 18 that way but managed a four to close his day and make him the leader and lone player in the Super Senior division under par for the round.

Play gets underway in round two Tuesday morning at 8:00.