By Lynn Saternow

Herald Sports Editor

In 58 years of competition, there has been one constant that usually holds true in the Herald-Tam O’Shanter Junior Golf Championship: It’s a battle to the end.

It’s shaping up that way again as defending champ Ryan Miller and two-time former champion Michael Klaric III are linked with Dom Lombardi in a tight three-way struggle after the opening round of the annual event Thursday at Tam O’Shanter Golf Course, Hermitage.

Miller posted a 75, while Klaric and Lombardi each fired 76. Also in striking distance are Mike Bryan, last year’s runner-up, and Brian Zipay, who posted 79s.

“It’s exciting,” said Miller of West Middlesex. “It always is. This is a good tournament.”

Klaric and Lombardi are Kennedy Catholic High teammates, while Bryan is on the West Middlesex golf squad with Miller. Zipay plays for Sharpsville.

Klaric, who won the event in 2002 and 2003, had a strong front nine, with 37, but shot 39 on the back. Miller, meanwhile, got off to a slow start with a 40 on the front, but followed up with a blazing 35 on the back.

“I shot 40-35 last year too,” said Miller.

Lombardi went out in 39, then finished with a strong 37 after a double-bogey on 10.

The top 21 finishers out of 32 first-round competitors advanced to the championship round today. The first tee time is set for 7:40 a.m.

Thursday scores

Ryan Miller 40-35—75

Michael Klaric III 37-39—76

Dom Lombardi 39-37—76

Mike Bryan 39-40—79

Brian Zipay 43-36—79

Ronnie Gaines 42-40—82

Paul Mudrey 41-42—83

Mike Porterfield 44-41—85

Ryan David 45-41—86

Shawn Matsko 42-45—87

Danny Andrusky 41-46—87

Matt Bober 46-42—88

Dustin Noble 43-46—89

Will McIntyre 43-46—89

Roman Klaric 42-48—90

Ryan Snyder 43-47—90

Eric Grasso 47-46—93

Chris Pacsi 49-44—93

Brendan Gramley 49-46—95

David Thomas 49-46—95

Kellie Gustas 48-47—95

Cody Donaldson 49-48—97

Andy DeMofonte 52-47—99

Mark Caracci 57-49—106

Andrew Knight 60-54—114

Joe Vass 53-63—116

Jonathan David 58-59—117

Katie Lyons 56-62—118

Ian Dunlap 64-56—120

D.J. David 60-61—121

David Knight 78-71—149

Anthony Munger DNF


Today’s Tee Times

7:40 — Gustas, Thomas, Gramley

7:47 — R. Klaric, Pacsi, Grasso

7:54 — McIntyre, Noble, Snyder

8:01 — Andrusky, Matsko, Bober

8:08 — Mudrey, Porterfield, David

8:26 — Zipay, Bryan, Gaines

8:23 — Karic, Lombardi, Miller