Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Confident Estes Shoots a 70 for Lead

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Confident Estes Shoots a 70 for Lead

Article excerpt

It's been a heck of a year for David Estes the last two weeks. On Aug. 6, he shot a 36-hole score of 74-72-146 to qualify for the USGA Amateur Championship, which will be played next week in Portland, Ore. A few days later, he defeated the talented Scott Thomas, another U.S. Amateur qualifier, in a Norwood Hills club championship match.

And on Thursday, Estes came to Bellerive Country Club and outdid Thomas again, as well as 127 other players, as he took the first-round lead in the sixth Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association Championship. Estes smoothed over two bogeys with three birdies, including two on the back nine, carding a 1-under-par 70 and keeping the train rolling.

"A lot of it is confidence," Estes said. "There's no question that the U.S. Amateur qualifying gave me some confidence, and I came in swinging well."

Estes enjoys a 1-stroke lead over Doug Diemer and Mike Winterer, who had par-71s. Two strokes back are Craig Doiron, Barry Yehling and Jay Story. Four players are tied at 73, including Thomas, Craig Schnurbusch, Tom Barry and Dustin Ashby.

Two-time Metro champ Don Bliss and former Metro champ Jim Holtgrieve join David Lucks, Richard Jarrett, Andy Fogarty and Patrick Hawthorne at 74. The second 18-hole round will begin at 6:40 a.m. today. The field will be cut to the low 40 scores and ties for the 18-hole final on Saturday.

When Estes qualified for the U.S. Amateur last year, he thought it best to skip the Metro and give himself time to prepare for the national championship. It turned out all wrong.

"I pulled out of the Metro and I really regret that; it was a mistake," Estes said. "It's such a great tournament and it's played at such good venues. There's no better way to prepare for the U.S. Amateur than to put yourself under the gun and in this tournament."

Jarrett, who played with Estes, said he was even better than his scorecard indicated. "He really played well," Jarrett said. "From tee to green, he played great. If he hadn't missed some putts, he would have shot even lower."

Estes agreed: "I missed some real makable putts. But that's how it goes."

A low score is a tall order at Bellerive, which the MAGA set up to play at 6,883 yards. …

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