Hendershott retains advantage ahead of final
Dennis Hendershott fired a one-over-par 72 at a windswept Port Royal Golf Course to retain his lead over the field at the $70,000 Gosling’s International Invitational yesterday.
The 50-year-old Canadian professional started and completed the second round with a two-shot lead at three under. Henry Smart, of England, is in second at one under after 36 holes.
Smart, last year’s runner-up, was flawless on the front which he played at even par to surge into a one-shot lead after Hendershott carded a double bogey at the par-four 8th hole.
However, Hendershott regained his footing to put his title tilt back on track.
A birdie at the par five 11th gave him a share of the lead before he regained the lead outright after rolling in another birdie on the next hole. A third straight birdie at the par three 13th coupled with Smart’s double bogey at the same hole stretched Hendershott’s lead to four shots with five holes to play.
Smart carded another birdie at the 15th to shave the deficit to three.
The round took another dramatic twist when Hendershott dropped two shots after making a double bogey at Port Royal’s signature par three 16th, bringing Smart to within one shot of the lead.
But once again the Canadian quickly stopped the bleeding, rolling in his fifth birdie of the round on the final hole to enter the clubhouse with a two-shot cushion.
An opening round of four-under 67 at Mid Ocean Club the previous day gave Hendershott early control, and he will be looking to make further inroads in the final round at Belmont Hills today.
Meanwhile, two shots back in third at one over is Canadian Derek Gillespie, who produced the day’s lowest round of 70.
David Lawrence, the defending champion, is 14 shots off the lead pace at 11 over.
Daniel Augustus leads the local professionals and is eleventh overall at eight over, one shot ahead of compatriot Camiko Smith who is in twelfth.
“I’m surprised [to be the leading local], but I’m still trying to do well overall,” Augustus said. “Hopefully, I can close the gap on the leaders.”
Augustus shot 76, which included two birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey at 16.
“I need to clean up better,” he added. “I have been putting better recently, but these past two days the putter has been cold. Not because of my stroke, but because I haven’t played in conditions like these in a while. “I started to adjust, so hopefully I can get it rolling.”
Dwayne Pearman is third among the local field, tied for 20th at 12 over.
The former Port Royal head professional is the last Bermudian to win the tournament, when the event was known as the Belmont Invitational.
Nick Maccario, of the United States, leads the overall amateur field by five shots at five over. Josh Alexander is second at ten over, one shot ahead of Herbie Aikens.
Bermuda’s Jevon Roberts is tied for seventh and the leading local amateur at 17 over through 36 holes.
Like Hendershott, Roberts also carded an impressive three consecutive birdies, with his treble achieved on the front nine.
“It all came from really good tee shots,” Roberts said. “I almost drove the green on 6.
“I had like 30 yards and I pitched it up there to maybe 15 feet and made that one for my first birdie.
“Then on 7, the par-three downhill, I hit a pitching wedge to about six feet, made that one for birdie and then 8, I almost drove the green.
“I hit a nice little pitch up there to maybe 2½ feet and then made that one.”
The top nine finishers in each of the four amateur divisions, consisting of amateur gross and net, senior gross and net, all made the cut and will play alongside the professionals today at Belmont Hills.
Those who failed to make the cuts in the professional and amateur divisions will compete in an 18-hole consolation event at the par-three Turtle Hill Golf Club at Fairmont Southampton for the new Seal Pup Cup.
Full results, Page 26
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