As the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bash got underway Monday morning, the excitement of the inaugural event and a new venue also has brought on new challenges facing the Open Division competitors.
Taking place at Atlantic City Country Club – which dates back to 1897 – the grid is situated on the par-5 10th hole, and is 45 yards in width, which already has shown to play a significant factor in the competition. Last month’s Ak-Chin Smash in the Sun was contested on a 55-yard wide grid, and the Clash in the Canyon in April utilized a landing area 65 yards wide.
“It is a small grid, it’s narrow,” said Justin Moose (Columbia, S.C.), who advanced to the Round of 16 Monday morning. “Obviously the grid is pretty wet so you want to carry it as far as you can. Usually I’m at around a 3 degree loft (driver), and actually I’m up to about 5 degrees of loft today.”
The venue also was host to the first-ever Senior Tour (now PGA TOUR Champions) event back in 1980 and has staged six USGA sanctioned events. Not only is the layout forcing golfers to make the necessary equipment and mental adjustments, but weather is playing a factor as well.
“There are definitely some conditions we’re dealing with between the wind, along with the rain that’s come down the past few days,” said Glenn Wilson Jr. (Conroe, Texas), who also advanced to the Round of 16. “I set my driver one degree up of loft knowing we’re not going to get much roll.”
The Round of 16 will be contested Monday afternoon, with eight men advancing to Tuesday night’s live culmination of the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bash, beginning at 6 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.
The full list of competitors having advanced Monday morning to the Round of 16 include: Maurice Allen, Kyle Berkshire, Tim Burke, Jeff Gavin, Patrick Hopper, Paul Howell, Tommy Hug, Justin James, Stephen Kois, Justin Moose, Wes Patterson, Ryan Steenberg, Jim Waldron and Glenn Wilson Jr.
World Long Drive Association