Proffitt leads by wide margin after 68 Jul 31, 2012  (7 years ago)

By Randy King
Jul 31, 2012, 08:50

BLACKSBURG -- While the stock market was down across the board Monday, the Proffitt margin was up at the first round of the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame Senior men's championship Monday.

Hidden Valley's Bill Proffitt produced the biggest story of the day, matching his age with a sizzling 4-under-par 68 at Blacksburg Country Club to take a four-shot lead in the 65-and-over super senior division.

Proffitt, a semi-retired certified public accountant, loved crunching the numbers following a round that included six birdies and two bogeys. The consistent grinder hit 15 greens in regulation in posting nines of 34-34.

"Here in the past two months, I've started to play better because I was playing miserable, at least by my definition," said Proffitt, who captured the Roanoke Valley Match Play Master title nine days ago.

"I went down to the State [Senior Amateur] and played like dog-do, so I do feel good about this."

Proffitt's game has changed little since he won the HOF 55-and-over senior title in 2000. The 1970 Virginia Tech graduate keeps his ball in the short grass most of the time off the tee, plus has a penchant from staying away from big numbers that break many of his competitors. And, unlike most of the AARP set, the guy doesn't have to pop any meds after rising from bed in the morning.

"I don't have any physical infirmities ... other than being short, fat and ball-headed," said Proffitt, breaking into laughter. "I take no medicine, I have no heart problems. For the shape I'm in, I'm in A-1 shape. Most people out here are taking something -- and I'm talking all age groups -- so I'm lucky, my genes are there."

Hanging Rock's Dick Nelson is alone in second at 72. Mac McClelland, the 2008 champion from Blacksburg Country Club, and Roanoke Country Club's Marvin Taylor are tied for third at 73.

Hanging Rock and RCC are tied atop the super senior team chase at 148. BCC is third, one shot back, with Waterfront two back in fourth and Hidden Valley fifth at 151.

While Proffitt will take a four-stroke cushion into today's final round at Hanging Rock, the same can't be said for the trio of pacesetters in the senior division. Blue Hills' Bill Nunnenkamp, Roger Young of BCC and unheralded David Vest of Ashley Plantation share the lead after opening 71s.

Nunnenkamp, 61, winner of the 2005 Match Play senior title the 2008 HOF senior crown, just continues to keep proficiently hobbling along. Despite playing with braces on both knees, the retired New Yorker continues to be a factor almost every time he tees it up.

"As bad as my knees are, I'm hitting the ball pretty good," Nunnenkamp said. "I've had the left knee operated on five times in 2 1/2 years, I'm looking to get it replaced again. I'm ready to get the left one replaced so I can get the right one replaced. The problem is nobody gives you any sympathy, you know?"

Young, 59, a former winner of the Southwest Virginia Amateur senior crown, was 3-under through six holes before giving it all back with a triple bogey to turn in even. After seeing his 71 tied for the top spot, the cagey veteran had to work the phones in order to change some family business in order to assure he can play today.

"I had a situation [today] that I needed to be at 10 o'clock," he said. "It was a family issue, but as it turned out everything worked out well and they're healthy and all that. So I had a little bit of reprieve. I'm just happy to be able to play because I put myself in a position to where I could play."

Vest, a 60-year-old locksmith, sounded like he had the time of his life as he birdied five of the first six holes to start 5-under en route a frontside 4-under 32.

"The front was unreal ... the hole just kept getting in the way," a grinning Vest said. "From there, the only thing I was thinking was 'don't screw it up!'

"This was about as good as I get. I'm nervous. [Today] is going to be a tough order for me because I rarely play two good rounds like that in a row."

Blacksburg Country Club leads Hanging Rock by two shots in the team chase.

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