The Golfweek senior amateur circuit has made its annual stop in Wine Country.
Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Washington is a stunning Dan Hixson design that perfectly uses the natural features of southeastern Washington in the shadow of the Blue Mountains. With open fairways and rarely a tree in sight, the course plays tough thanks to wild grasses, undulating greens and strategic bunkering, Wine Valley is one of the best tests of golf in the Pacific Northwest.
Two men were able to use those features to their advantage to take leads in their respective age divisions.
72-year-old Scott Masingill had the round of the day, posting a bogey-free 7-under 65 to take an eight-stroke lead in the Super Senior age bracket.
“I’ve played this golf course quite a bit,” Masingell said. “And it’s really one of my favorite courses of anywhere that I’ve played. In about the past two months, my game has come around, and it’s really just about confidence now.”
The Idaho native has plenty to be confident about. Starting his scoring early, Masingell carded four birdies through his first seven holes. Keeping it on cruise control, he parred the next seven holes before adding three consecutive birdies on hole Nos. 15-17. Needing to knock home a 4-footer on 18 for par to keep his bogey-free round in check, Masingell found the bottom of the cup.
“I got a little nervous and sweaty on the last hole,” he said. “I was proud of the fact that feeling some stress on that last putt, I just knocked it in the middle of the hole. I’m real pleased with the way I played, I’ve been working on my fitness and my game, and I got a result.”
Masingill is not a stranger to playing with the best. With a U.S. Open, two Senior Opens, a U.S. Am and two U.S. Mid-Ams under his belt, he’s no stranger to being in the mix with elite golfers.
As for how he’ll take on the next 36 holes?
“With a big lead like this, I’m really just competing with myself at the moment. So, just not getting distracted by that and [focus] on the cliche of all time, playing one shot at a time. That’s the only way to do it.”
George Walker (No. 1 in the Golfweek Super Senior rankings) and Frank Maxwell are in a two-way tie for second at 1 over.