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Opening Round

Defending champ trails after first round at Biggs Golf Classic

Biggs Golf Classic

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Chad McCann with a shot on the 16th fairway during the first round of the Biggs Golf Classic, Thursday, May 24, 2018 at the Sound Golf Links at Albemarle Plantation in Hertford.

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By Malcolm Shields
Sports Editor

Friday, May 25, 2018

HERTFORD — It wasn't the start to the 2018 Biggs Golf Classic that Chad McCann expected.

McCann, who won last year's Biggs Cadillac Buick GMC Classic, was unable to complete his first round under par.

McCann shot a 1-over-par 72 on Thursday on the Sound Golf Links at Albemarle Plantation.

He is seven shots behind the leader Christopher ONeill, who shot 6-under-par 65 in the first round.

Nathan Stamey, David Gazzolo and Emmanuel Kountakis are tied in second after shooting 5-under-par 66.

McCann noted that he has a lot of work to do.

“I tried to limit the damage and try not to shoot myself out after the first day,” McCann said.

His first round was in contrast to last year's first 18 holes where he posted a 4-under-par 67.

That round paced McCann to 12-under par score over four rounds to win the 2017 Classic by two strokes.

McCann, who began his first round of this year's tournament on No. 10 in a group of three that included 2015 Biggs Classic Champion Frank Adams III and Daniel Obremski, recorded birdies on 11 and 17 to go with a bogey on 14.

The birdie on the par-five 17th was set up by his third shot which was a chip from just in front of the green and settled within a few feet for the birdie attempt.

McCann posted back-to-back bogeys on the first and second holes and added a double bogey on seven, but posted birdies on five and eight.

His tee shot on the par-four eighth landed on the green and gave McCann a chance at an eagle, but he had to settle for a tap in birdie.

After a heavy rain storm passed through the area on Wednesday afternoon, according to McCann it had an impact.

McCann noted that in multiple practice rounds before the tournament, the course was drier.

“For it to rain so much right before the first round, it changes the entire game plan,” McCann said. “I didn't adjust for it. It was definitely a big difference.”

Adams was 3-over par-74, while Obremski kept pace with McCann with a 1-over-par 72.

McCann noted the challenge of winning the tournament again as an incentive to make a return trip to the region.

“Every one here was really great. The course was fun,” he said.

This year's tournament, which is the fifth edition of the Classic, features nearly 120 golfers in the field.

The tournament has golfers that are associated with the G Pro Tour.

It is an improvement from last season, which saw the Classic field less than 50 golfers.

The second round of the Classic begins today at 7:30 a.m.

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