ST. CLAIR – Mike Cochet was a bit worried about the difficulty of the greens at St. Clair Golf Club.
The British Columbia resident had been to the course a year ago for the men’s invitational, and they left an impression on him.
“The greens are really hard, and I’m not used to it,” Cochet said. “I was at the barber the other day and he said, ‘You’re getting a little gray up there, Mike.’ I said, ‘I know, because I’m going to St. Clair and I’m stressed out about those greens I have to putt on for three days.’”
Cochet and his partner Tommy Cataldo are doing just fine despite that stress, leading the top flight (Augusta) at the club’s Men’s Invitational by three points through three rounds of match play. They won 9 ½ of a possible 10 in the first round, four in a losing effort in the second, and another 6 ½ in the third.
The tournament will finish Sunday with the final two rounds of nine-hole match play.
“I’ve never seen 9 ½ before, so that was pretty cool,” Cataldo said. “We played well and they didn’t play well, and it was a day.
“We have a three-point lead (on Brendan Weaver and Chris Hadley), but we play them tomorrow, too. So going head to head it will be good.”
Most of the seven flights are very close heading into the final day, with the biggest gap coming in the Oakland Hills Flight, where Phil Neale and Jeff Spada have 21 points, good for a 5 ½-point lead on the next two teams.
No other flight has more than a two-point difference.
In the Oakmont Flight, Greg Duva and Troy Saunby have 18 ½, and are followed by Bill Hughes and Sam Palazzola at 16 ½. One point behind Hughes and Palazzola are Hugh Jackson and Bill Beaker.
Mark Schwager and Tony Andres have a two-point lead in the Muirfield flight as they sit at 17 ½. Gary Ignasiak and Everett Meggitt are second with 15 ½, and tightened up the flight by defeating Schwager and Andres 7-3 in the third round. The other four teams are either at 14 ½ or 14, leaving everyone well within striking distance.
Terry Dawson and Jerry McCarthy have 18 points in the Medinah Flight, good for a ½-point lead on Dave Bell and Mike Bassett.
Dan Moran and Dave Abou-Ganim have the highest point total in the tournament at 21 ½, but lead Stan Hirt and Jay Hirt by just two. Jim Petitpren and Greg Armstrong are two more back, putting the top three teams fairly close.
Bob Baden and Braden lead the Olympic Flight with 17 ½. Ed Sadler and Jerry Bassett are second at 15 ½, while two other teams are at 15, and another sits at 14 ½.
Contact Paul Costanzo at (810) 989-6251 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @PaulCostanzo.