One round does not a tournament make. But when it’s the round of your life, well that’s something special.
On Saturday morning at the 6,305-yard, par-71 Fairview Golf Course, during the opening round of the 59th annual Lebanon County Amateur Golf Championship, Mat Rowe fired his best round ever. His four-under par 67 was the lowest Rowe had ever gone with the stakes so high, and it earned him his first lead ever in a major event.
A graduate of Elco and Penn State University and a relative unknown on the local amateur scene, Rowe collected five birdies an eagle and a bogey to establish a two-stroke advantage over Dan Brown, Cody Kersey and the rest of the field.
Rowe was a modest one-under par through 11 holes, but he used a trio of birdies to go three-under par from Holes 12 through 17 to get to four-under. But the highlight of Rowe’s round came at the 498-yard, par-five seventh hole, where he drained a 25-foot putt for eagle.
Rowe had played in the three previous Lebanon County Amateurs, and his previous best finish was a tied for seventh.
- Jeff Falk