CRANSTON—For many of the Southern Rhode Island locals competing in the 82nd Rhode Island Open this week at Alpine Country Club in Cranston, Tuesday’s opening round was unforgiving. And it had nothing to do with the weather.
“It was perfect,” said John Rainone, who plays out of North Kingstown Golf Club. “It wasn’t like it was raining heavy or anything. It was the perfect conditions to play in as you can see from some of the scores.
“You couldn’t ask for an easier day weather-wise to play golf, so no excuses there.”
Light rain hampered the early tee times, but when the precipitation cleared for the afternoon groups the track had softened up and was in ideal shape for scoring.
In spite of that, when round one came to a close all the Southern Rhode Island locals were on the outside looking in at the projected cut of 1-over.
Oddly enough, it was the youngest of the bunch who fared the best as Matt Costaregni, playing out of Potowomut Golf Club, shot a 2-over 74.
The recent Prout graduate opened his day with an eagle on the par-5 10th, but played holes 13 through 17 at 4-over and was 1-over at the turn.
Costaregni was more consistent on his second nine, paring six of the holes, but was once again 1-over, ending his first 18 in a tie for 51st.
Right behind Costaregni at 3-over was URI golfer Andrew Fiorenzano, who rebounded from a double bogey on his second hole en route to a 4-over front nine with a 1-under 34 on the back nine to stay within striking distance of the top-40.
Not fairing as well was fellow Ram and Metacomet Country Club member Jared Adams. After teeing off in the first group of the day to go off the back side, Adams was looking good as he played his first 13 holes at 1-over par.
A costly double bogey on the par-4 fifth and far more costly quadruple bogey on the par-4 seventh completely derailed Adams round as he finished his day with a 9-over 81.
Seamus Fennelly, another teammate of Fiorenzano and Adams at URI, had the best start to the day of the trio of Rams, playing his first nine at even par.
Things started to go awry for the Coventry High graduate, however, with a double on the par-5 fourth hole. He then went on to post three bogeys in the final four holes to end his day at 4-over.
“It was rough,” said Fennelly. “I just made a few mental mistakes. Just one off the tee and I felt like I was rushed through a shot, but that was about it. Small things like that.
“I was hitting the ball well. Those small kind of mistakes just cost me and you just have to learn how to rebound from them I guess and learn from it.”
North Kingstown Golf Club’s Brian Owens had a similar afternoon to Fennelly as he was also even at the turn before struggling on his second nine to shoot a 4-over 76.
“I played good on the back side. Shot even, but should have been two or three under,” Owens said. “I made no putts.
“I struggled on the back nine. I made four kind of sloppy bogeys. Just lost my swing a little bit for a five-hole stretch and I just couldn’t make a putt all day. I didn’t make any birdies. Tough round.”
Also ending their day in a tie for 76th at 4-over were West Warwick’s Don Wright and 2013 South Kingstown High School grad McKinley Slade, both of whom were over par on the front before going even and 1-under, respectively, on the back nine.
Rainone, who almost withdrew from the tournament with an illness, started the day well, going 1-under through six and 1-over on the front side, but struggled on the back nine with bogeys on Nos. 10, 12, 14 and 15 for a 5-over 77.
“When I got up this morning I thought I might not even be playing. I was sick to my stomach,” Rainone said. “They always say ‘beware the wounded golfer.’ Just wasn’t worrying about anything and was one under after six and as I felt better I played worse.”
Closing out the Southern Rhode Island group was a pair of golfers at 7-over; Rainone’s fellow NK golfer Rob Aldrich and Potowomut’s Shawn Campbell.
Aldrich could not get under par all day as he shot his 79, going 3-over on the front and then closing out his round with a bogey and double bogey on Nos. 17 and 18 for a back side of 39.
Campbell both started and closed his opening round well, playing his first six and final six holes at even par. Holes seven through 12, however, spoiled Campbell’s round with double bogeys on seven and eight and bogeys on nine, 10 and 12.
Despite all of their struggles, the entire collective got a shot at redemption when they returned to Alpine for the Open’s second round Wednesday, all needing to get within the top-40 golfers in order to advance to Thursday’s final round.
The field’s remaining 118 golfers were all chasing Alpine head pro Eddie Kirby heading into Wednesday’s second day.
Kirby ended round one leading the field after shooting a 7-under 65, two strokes up on a group of six golfers tied for second after posting rounds of 5-under.