September 01. 2018 11:12PM

Joe Duball's NH Golf: Sherborne leads at city golf

By JOE DUBALL
New Hampshire Union Leader


The men's division of the Manchester City Golf Tournament opened Saturday at Intervale Country Club. Matthews Burroughs, Derryfield CC, Ryan Tombs, Manchester CC, and Austin Fox, Intervale CC talk at the tee box. (BRUCE TAYLOR/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER - The 60th Manchester City Golf Men's Championship is up for grabs with two-time defending champion Matt Paradis out of the field this year. However, another former champion appears primed to make a run at taking back the city crown following Saturday's opening round.

Dave Sherborne, who won back-to-back city titles in 2014 and 2015, is atop the leaderboard after a 3-under-par 69 at Intervale Country Club. Sherborne will take a one shot lead into today's second round at Manchester CC as Ryan Tombs, Kyle Badger, Austin Fox and Elliott Wallace each finished at 2-under.

"This year more than others, I'm sort of going about it as it is what it is," said Sherborne, who is a member at Laconia CC these days but earned a tournament exemption as a former champion. "If I play well, then I play well, and if I don't then I don't. Today was just another round and we'll hope for the same tomorrow."

A 2-under start through four holes turned sour for Sherborne as he double-bogeyed the par-4 fifth and the former Derryfield CC member bogeyed the par-3 eighth. Sherborne's fortunes turned for the rest of his round on the par-5 ninth as he canned an eagle to erase his prior mishaps and make the turn at 1-under.

"Going 1-under versus 1-over at the turn is just huge knowing Ryan (Tombs) was going to be tough to beat," Sherborne said. "He and Austin were each shooting a couple under there with me. It was a huge boost to keep me going in the right direction."

Sherborne opened the back nine with a bogey before spinning off three more birdies across the final eight holes to end his day atop the field.

"I made some good putts today," Sherborne said. "There were some good runs for bird and some saves for par. I didn't make any major mistakes besides the big one at No. 5. Just kept it out of trouble and in front of me while chipping away at things."

Tombs had a chance at getting on top while sitting 4-under heading into the par-5 18th. The Manchester CC member fell short, though, as his second shot on No. 18 found the trees 20 yards left of the green. Getting out of the trees proved to be Tombs' downfall as it led to a double-bogey.

"I was trying to hit a left-to-right shot and pulled it a little bit," Tombs said. "I don't know if I should've played it out of the woods or not, but once I took one swing I knew I had to keep going."

The double-bogey was the lone blemish on the card for Tombs, who is playing in the tournament for the first time in five years. The quirky, shorter format at Intervale did Tombs no favors, but he made no fuss about his effort.

"I played solid today and didn't really get the putts to fall," Tombs said. "I didn't really remember this course and I'm a lot more familiar with MCC. I'm just going to keep swinging and see where it goes."

Sherborne also welcomes the shift to Manchester CC today, which hasn't been the case in previous runs in the city tournament.

"It was probably a little scarier going there in years past with the pace of the greens," Sherborne said. "Now being up in Laconia with their greens, I'm a little less concerned. Not that it can't bite you still, but I'll take things as they come."

Also looking to make moves up the leaderboard today are Fox and Wallace, who drained four and five birdies during their rounds on Saturday. 

Wallace, a Manchester CC member, is the youngest player in this year's tournament at 14 years old. 

Fox has experience tangling with Sherborne as he defeated him for the 2012 city tournament title.

Ryan Cowette, Scott Underhill, Tom Mareno and Ryan Sylvester comprise a quartet of golfers still very much in the hunt at 1-under as play resumes at 11 a.m. this morning.

jduball@unionleader.com