ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — It was a picture-perfect Friday at Ingersoll Golf Club for the first round of the Greater Rockford Men’s and Women’s Golf Classic.
In previous years, the tournament has been played out over four days; two days over two weeks. The women would play one day of stroke play, and that would seed them to continue with match play. But this year, it’s only three days and just stroke play for the entire field.
There was definitely excitement around the change, especially for Boylan senior Ella Greenberg.
“I normally don’t take bigger numbers, so I think with my consistency, stroke play is my advantage,” said Greenberg.
Greenberg leads the pack for the women at even-par with a 71 Friday. She struggled just slightly off the tee, but it was her short game that kept her in the hunt. And a birdie from the fringe on the last hole wouldn’t hurt either. She takes a three-stroke lead into Saturday with her younger sister Eva right behind her.
“I would say I kind of scrambled a little bit today, but I’m happy with my round at this course,” said Greenberg.
Defending champion Kayla Sayyalinh sits tied for third at six-over par.
On the men’s side of things, nine-time champion Jamie Hogan is looking for his first title since 2017. He finished the day at one-over.
Garrett Ralston seems to always find himself in the conversation. The only title he has is from winning the Aldeen Cup in 2017. He’s four shots back at two-under after an opening round 69.
Danny Gorman, a two-time runner-up, had himself a day. A three-under 68 has him tied-second, three shots behind the leader.
And who else would be sitting atop the leaderboard besides the defending champion TJ Baker? His star performance in his recent Aldeen Cup victory has carried over to this week. Even after finishing the front nine bogey-bogey, he rallied on the back with some critical par saves. He finished with three straight birdies down the stretch. A six-under 65 Friday and he has the lead by three.
Round two starts Saturday at Sandy Hollow Golf Course. The first pairing tees off at 7 a.m.
(Men’s Round 1 Leaderboard/Rockford Classic)
1. TJ Baker (65) -6
T2. Cody Rhymer (68) -3
T2. Dallas Traser (68) -3
T2. Danny Gorman (68) -3
T5. Mark Noonan (69) -2
T5. Garrett Ralston (69) -2
T5. Adam Tobias (69) -2
(Women’s Round 1 Leaderboard/Rockford Classic)
1. Ella Greenberg (71) E
2. Eva Greenberg (74) +3
T3. Kayla Sayyalinh (77) +6
T3. Kyra Simon (77) +6
5. Melissa Dofflemyer (78) +7