By Chris Richards, AJGA Communications
For Italy’s Federico Zucchetti, Saturday started with two steps backwards. Fortunately for him, he rebounded and ended up taking 27 steps forward.
After hitting his opening tee shot out of bounds on No. 10, a double bogey marked the start of his round on Dye’s Valley Course. Next came the most difficult par 3, the 227-yard 11th, which on the day yielded just five birdies, one of which was made by Federico.
The comeback continued on No. 12, where he holed his approach shot with his pitching wedge from 105 meters (or, as we say in America, 115 yards). Suddenly, 2-over became 1-under. Three more birdies and zero bogeys followed, and the result was a 4-under-par 66 and an improvement of 27 spots on the leaderboard.
“It’s not easy because after a double-bogey, you get upset,” said Federico, who is tied for seventh at 1-over-par. “I hit a very good shot on 11 and then I made 2 on No. 12, so it was easy for me to keep moving ahead.”
Making his AJGA debut this week, Federico said that the strength and diversity of the field have impressed him the most.
“In Europe we play a lot of tournaments, but it’s all European players,” said Federico, whose last start in the States was the Dixie Amateur last December. “Here, we have European guys, American guys, and it’s great.”