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Porter Cup delay over, Rodgers inches ahead

LEWISTON -- Torrential rains this morning at Niagara Falls Country Club have the third round of the Porter Cup operating two hours behind schedule.

The leaders, who were originally scheduled to go off at 12:40 p.m., didn't get out until 2:40. Golfers were pulled from the course at 9:20 a.m. and returned at 11:20.

--Bob DiCesare

UPDATE: The first few groups have completed their rounds, including three local players. NFCC member PJ Alterio shot 75 as part of the first group along with Kenneth Riter of Williamsville, who shot 73. Alterio's in the field this week in place of NFCC club champion Fred Silver.

Alterio finished second to Silver, but the 29-time NFCC champion declined his invitation to the event because he's playing in the Senior British Amateur this week.

Bob is out on the course following the leaders, this is Jay Skurski checking in. We'll have updates on the blog throughout the day.

3:28 p.m.: There's more of a breeze than there's been in the first two days of the tournament, and that's a good thing. It's hot when the wind isn't blowing. The fairways are wet from this morning's rain, and while I didn't walk on any of the greens, I have to assume they're the same way. The gusting wind, though, might be enough to keep scores from going crazy low today. ---JS

3:36 p.m.: If you were out here Friday, you saw the tee at No. 15 was moved up. It's the same way today, which makes the hole a lot of fun to watch. Playing 307 yards, the hole is reachable from the tee for these players, but bunkers on the left and right catch most of the tee balls. There's danger out of bounds left, and tree trouble to the right. Of the nine tee shots I watched, just one split the bunkers and reached the green. Most were about 30 yards short, leaving an easy wedge to the green. Still, it wasn't an automatic birdie. Any approach left above the hole left a slippery downhiller that I saw a few players blow past. The 15th green is the best spot on the course for spectators in my opinion. The trees offer plenty of shade, and you can watch the tee shots on the par-3 16th and par-4 17th holes, as well. The tournament can be won and lost in that stretch. ---JS

3:45 p.m.: Here are the third-round scores that have been posted so far: Alterio 75, Jeb Buchanan (medalist of the qualifier) 71, Riter 73, J. Fernandez Valdes 70, Jonathan Fly 70, Ethan Tracy 73, Chris Covelli of Buffalo 72, Nick Gilliam 74, Brian Churchill-Smith 70. ---JS

4 p.m.: Some highlights from earlier: Watched Matt Stasiak of Clarence hit the pin out of the bunker on No. 14. He made the par save. On the same hole, watched a ridiculous par save by Brad Wilder, from the ditch behind the hole. On the next hole, Wilder originally took out an iron to lay up, but changed his mind on the tee. "What the hell," he said to tournament director Steve Denn. ---JS

4:05 p.m.: A few more of the scores that have come in: The round of the day thus far is a 68 by Brooks Koepka of Wellington, Fla. The others: Sebastian Pinzon 72, Nathan Holman 76, Ryan Terdik 69, Scott Langley 71, Wilder 75, Stasiak 73, NFCC member Mike Boss 73, Dave Bunker 73, Mike McCoy 69, Stephan Jaeger 72. ---JS

4:07 p.m.: Defending champion David Chung is in with a 69, his first round under par so far this tournament. ---JS

5:04 p.m.: Well, that was hardly the most inspiring nine holes I've seen from a lead group on Friday at the Porter Cup. Stanford-bound Patrick Rodgers now leads at 10 under, with Paul Haley at 9 under and Nate McCoy at 4 under after starting the day at -7. The three of them combined to make all of two birdies. Haley's streak of bogey-free holes ended at 40 when he failed to get up-and-down from the front fringe on No. 5. He proceeded to bogey No. 6 as well, missing a 2 1/2-footer from above the hole. ---BD

5:27 p.m.: Jake Katz turned in a 2-under 68 to record the best round of the day among the six locals in the field. NFCC member Mike Boss, 18, shot a 73, but the round could have been better. Boss missed a 1-foot par putt on the 17th hole after blasting out of the sand, then bogeyed No. 18. Other local scores were: Stasiak (73-217), Covelli (72-221), Riter (73-225) and Alterio (75-233). I'll be back tomorrow with the final round. ---JS


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.