LEWISTON -- Good morning from Niagara Falls Country Club, site of the 52nd annual Porter Cup.
Sorry for the delay in getting started, we had some Internet connectivity issues that we've since got straightened out. I will be here along with Amanda Bremer as we provide live updates throughout the day.
The first groups out have recently made the turn. Conditions here in Lewiston are perfect for scoring so far, minimal breeze and warm, muggy air. It's overcast right now, and it looks like a thunder storm could be threatening.
We'll have our first look at the scores in just a few minutes. Settle in and get comfortable.
10:49 a.m.: Here's our first look at the scorecard for what has been posted. Just one player so far is under par. Brinson Paolini of Virginia Beach, Va. made the turn at 1-under 34. Paolini, 19, is a sophomore at Duke. --JS
11:08 a.m.: Scores are coming in rather quickly now. We've got a new leader in David Chung, 20, a junior at Stanford. Chung birdied holes 3, 5 and 9 on the front nine. No. 9 might be the most challenging here at NFCC, a 477-yard par-4 that almost always plays into the wind. --JS
Here's some other scores, par being 35-35-70 on the 6,871-yard course. A number of players made the turn at even par, including Wesley Bryan, George Bryan, Skip Berkmeyer, Robert Gerwin, Kieran Pratt and Jonathan Pratt. George Bryan has the only eagle so far, on the 552-yard par-5 third hole. --JS
11:13 a.m.: Jamie Sindelar, son of Champions Tour player Joey Sindelar, joins Paolini at 1-under 34, two shots behind Chung. --JS
11:16 a.m.: Here's the group at 1-over 36 after the front: Andrew Yun, Clarence's Matt Stasiak, Mike McCoy and Nate McCoy. Mid-amateur player Tripp Davis shot 37 on the front, while Peter Creighton of Kenmore struggled with a 41. Amanda Bremer will be here with some more scores while photographer Mark Mulville and I plan a trip out to the course. --JS
11:25 a.m : Another group of scores are in. Sihwan Kim shot a 2-under 33 on the front 9. He birdied holes 3,5, and 6. Brad Benjamin, Matt Jager, and Lion Kim all shot an even par 35. Ben An and Jason Scrivener shot a 1-over 36. -- AB
11:41 a.m.: More scores are coming in as we approach noon. Chan Kim shot an even-par 35. Jordan Sherratt of Australia shot a 37 and Tim Mickelson,brother of Phil, shot a 39. --AB
11:45 a.m.: Emiliano Grillo shot a 2-under 33. He is a native of Resistencia, Argentina. Gavin Hall shot an even-par 35. Hall is from Pittsford and a high school sophomore. Curtis Thompson of Coral Springs, FL shot a 38. The field has many players from around the world, some top notch NCAA players, and top talent from New York state. It really makes for interesting groupings out on the course. --AB
12:08 p.m.: PJ Alterio of Buffalo shot a 41 on the front nine. Tomas Cocha from Salta, Argentina shot a 2-under 33. Scott Harvey shot a 34, Daniel Beckmann had a 36, and Ryan McCarthy shot a 37. --AB
12:16 p.m.: Luke Bleumink, 25, shot a 3-under 32. He birdied holes one and eight, and had an eagle on the par-5 552 yard No.3. He is from Croydon, Australia. --AB
12:28 p.m.: All the groups have now teed off. Around half of the competitors have made the turn. So far, the lowest score is a 3-under 32, posted by David Chung and Luke Bleumink. --AB
12:37 p.m.: The first competitors have finished their round. Matt Stasiak of Clarence shot 4-over on the back nine. He birdied 10 but would bogey the last five holes to shoot 5-over 75 on the day. Jamie Sindelar of Horseheads shot a 1-over 71. Tripp Davis shot 73 to round out the first group out. --AB
12:51 p.m.: Brinson Paolini from Virginia Beach turned in the first complete round under par. He shot a 1-under 69. Peter Creighton of Kenmore shot a 77, 41 on the front nine and 36 on the back nine. He double bogeyed No. 3 and birdied No. 15. Also in that group was an even-par 70 by Robert Gerwin II. --AB
12:58 p.m.: Just back in from the course. If you're coming out to watch, the area by 15 green is a good spot. You get to see them spin some wedges back on the approach, then tee off on the par-3 16th, which is playing about 200 yards today. You can also watch them tee off on 17, a tough par 4. --JS
1:03 p.m.: Some notes from the course: Paolini saved par with an excellent bunker shot on 15, nearly holing it. ... Creighton was visibly frustrated, but did knock in about a 30-foot putt for birdie on 15. ... The best accessory of the day so far belongs to Mike McCoy of West Des Moines, Iowa. He was rocking a big cigar after his tee shot on 16. --JS
1:38 p.m.: Just had a long chat with tournament director Steve Denn about the field. There were some late withdrawals and it was an adventure getting the course in playing condition. Amanda will have more on that in her Porter Cup notebook. Scores update coming soon ... --JS
1:41 p.m.: Also finished an interview with Chung, who posted a bogey-free round of 65. He left a 40-foot birdie try on the par-3 18th just short, but with the wind picking up, 65 has a great chance to stand up. --JS
2:16 p.m.: Weather is definitely a factor now. The wind, which was gusting most of the morning, is now sustained. We also had a shower pass through just a few minutes ago, but that has already passed. --JS
2:17 p.m.: A whole bunch of scores: Group III- Nate McCoy 69, George Bryan IV 72, Skip Berkmeyer Jr. 72. Group IV- Mike McCoy 74, Wesley Bryan 69, Andrew Yun 72. Group V- David Chung 65, Jonathan Randolph 70, Kieran Pratt 73. Group VI- Jason Scrivener 70, Brad Benjamin 70, Sihwan Kim 67. Group VII- Matt Jager 70, Byeong-hun An 69, Lion Kim 71. Group VIII- Brendan Smith 76, Alex Ching 77, Bo Hoag 70. Group IX- Jordan Sherratt 70, Tim Mickelson 74, Chan Kim 71. --JS
2:26 p.m.: The lead remains at the 65 of Chung. I'm back out on the course one last time, while Amanda does an interview with Denn and takes over the blog duties for a bit. --JS
3:32 p.m.: More scores, with those under par in bold: Group X- Gavin Hall 70, Emiliano Grillo 70, Curtis Thompson 74. Group XI- Ryan McCarthy 74, Buffalo's PJ Alterio 82, Scott Harvey 71. Group XII- Daniel Beckmann 72, Tim Spitz 70, Tomas Cocha 67. Group XIII- Luke Bleumink 64, Dave Bunker 72, Yaroslav Merkulov 72. Group XIV- Andrew Lane 73, Brett Cairns 73, Tain Lee 72. Group XV- Drew Kittleson 72, Mackenzie Hughes 70, Tarquin MacManus 74. Group XVI- Peter Uihlein 68, Jin Jeong 69, Russell Henley 65. Group XVII- Hudson Swafford 70, Brad Schneider 73, Kevin Phelan 73. --JS
3:37 p.m.: Dark, dark clouds rolling in right now from the north over Lake Ontario. Hoping the final 10 groups can make it in before anything too nasty arrives. --JS
3:40 p.m.: As you can see from the scores listed above, we have a new leader. Luke Bleumink of Australia recored a round of 64, shooting 32 on the front and back. Just got done talking with Bleumink, we'll have more from him later. --JS
3:51 p.m.: It's not raining, but we're in a weather delay. The siren blew roughly three minutes ago. The final group of the day is on No. 13. --JS
3:52 p.m.: More scores: Group XVIII- Harris English 73, Nathan Smith 66, Dylan Frittelli 72. --JS
4:06 p.m.: Still in a weather delay with a steady rain falling, although the sky appears to be lightening and hopefully the thunder and lightning has moved out of the area. There are 24 of the 81 players still to finish their rounds. The latest score update: Group XIX- Byden Macpherson 72, John Hahn 73, Johan de Beer 73. That last name is my favorite of the first round, by far. --JS
4:10 p.m.: The leader board so far: Luke Bleumink -6, Russell Henry and David Chung -5, Nathan Smith -4, Sihwan Kim and Tomas Cocha -3, Peter Uihlein -2. There are 12 players with recorded rounds under par thus far. --JS
4:36 p.m.: Guess I spoke to soon about the sky. It's raining as hard as it has all day right now.
4:45 p.m.: And that's all folks. With a heavy band of showers expected, play has been suspended for the day. The tentative plan is to have the eight groups return to the course at 8 a.m. Friday for a modified shotgun start. A decision will be made on that around 8 p.m., said NFCC general manager Alan Cohen.
We're signing off for now to get some dinner and write for the paper. Check the blog later for the Friday plan and some additional quotes.
---Jay Skurski and Amanda Bremer