Kinsey First-Round Leader at Mountain Ridge September 28, 2012 | West Caldwell, N.J. By Brian DePasquale, USGA

Paul Simson (above), the 2010 Senior Amateur champion, carded five birdies in Saturday's first round to shoot 68. (USGA Museum)

Stan Kinsey, 58, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., fired a 5-under-par 66 Saturday to grab the lead on the first day of stroke-play qualifying at the 2012 USGA Senior Amateur Championship at the par-71, 6,838-yard Mountain Ridge Country Club.

Kinsey, who carded six birdies and one bogey in his morning round, shot the lowest stroke-play round since 2007 and matched the second-best 18-hole qualifying score in championship history.

Paul Simson, the 2010 Senior Amateur champion, and Jim Holtgrieve, the current USA Walker Cup captain, were two strokes behind after each carded 3-under 68 in the afternoon wave.    

The USGA Senior Amateur Championship consists of 36 holes of stroke play followed by six rounds of match play, with the championship scheduled to conclude with an 18-hole final on Thursday, Oct. 4, starting at 9 a.m. EDT.

The USGA Senior Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

Kinsey, who is playing in his first USGA championship, shot 2-under 34 on the outward nine and made a couple of sidehill 15-foot birdie putts before hitting a 205-yard approach shot on the par-4 13th to within one foot for a tap-in birdie.

"That was a nice gift," said Kinsey, who missed only one fairway. "I felt like I had a lot of nice gifts today, and some curling putts that happened to go in, but I actually had a couple that lipped out. It was just one of those days where the ball seemed to have eyes and it felt like I had a good feel for the speed."

Holtgrieve, 64, of St. Louis, Mo., strung together six birdies with three bogeys during his round. Starting on No. 10, he turned in 2-under 34. The 1981 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion made a 40-foot birdie putt on No. 4, hit a 6-iron to 10 feet for another birdie at the seventh and ended by making a 12-foot birdie putt on the ninth.

"I just wanted to get into the rhythm of hitting decent shots and not hitting errant shots," Holtgrieve said. "I hit good irons. I got the ball in position."

Simson, 61, of Raleigh, N.C., totaled five birdies for the day, including back-to-back ones on holes 16 and 17. His second of two bogeys was a three-putt at the par-4 18th hole.

"I made all the ones [putts] under 10 feet that I needed," said Simson, who has been Senior Amateur stroke-play medalist in three of the last four years. "Plus I just didn’t get myself into very much trouble; I was short of the pin putting uphill most of the day so it worked out pretty well."

David Pulk and Doug Farr, a pair of 2012 state senior amateur champions, were among five players at 2-under 69. Pulk, 56, of Williamsburg, Va., won the Ohio Senior Amateur in his native state. Farr, 60, of Monroe, La., captured the Louisiana Senior Amateur, and reached this championship as an alternate from sectional qualifying in Hot Springs, Ark.

Farr jump-started his round with an eagle at the par-5 9th, holing a 30-yard pitch. He set up birdies at No. 11 with a 9-iron approach and at No. 15 with an 8-iron to 10 feet. Pulk, who had three birdies and one bogey, rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt on the 11th and a 25-footer on the 15th. He finished with an up-and-down par on No. 18.

"I was making really good first putts to where, if I had 20- or 30-footers, they were going to about a foot or foot and a half [from the hole]," Pulk said. "So I was able to make a lot of pars that way and if I missed the green by a couple of yards then I made some nice chips within about two feet of the hole and just had to tap it in."

Mark Bemowski, the 2004 Senior Amateur winner and two-time runner-up, Rick Woulfe, 62, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Terry Werner, 58, of Joliet, Ill., also had 69s. Bemowski, 66, of Mukwonago, Wis., had five birdies.

"You can’t win it today, but you would like to have a good framework of mind about yourself," Bemowski said.

Reigning British and Canadian Senior Amateur champion Chip Lutz, 57, of Reading, Pa., shot 1-under 70. Defending USGA Senior Amateur champion Louis Lee, 56, of Heber Springs, Ark., was among a group of six players who finished at even-par 71.

"It’s a hard golf course; there’s trouble with every shot," Lee said. "The greens are real challenging. Even par will win a lot of matches this week."

Brian DePasquale is a manager of championship communications for the USGA. Email him at bdepasquale@usga.org.

West Caldwell, N.J. – Results of Saturday’s first round of stroke play at the 2012 USGA Senior Amateur Championship, played at 6,838-yard, par-71 Mountain Ridge Country Club.

Stanley Kinsey, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. - 34-32--66

Paul Simson, Raleigh, N.C. - 35-33--68

Jim Holtgrieve, St. Louis, Mo. - 35-33--68

Douglas Farr, Monroe, La. - 36-33--69

David Pulk, Williamsburg, Va. - 35-34--69

Mark Bemowski, Mukwonago, Wis. - 35-34--69

Terry Werner, Dyer, Ind. - 37-32--69

Rick Woulfe, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. - 32-37--69

David Talcott, Edgewood, Wash. - 37-33--70

Chip Lutz, Reading, Pa. - 33-37--70

Donald Detweiler, Raleigh, N.C. - 34-36--70

Gary Vanier, Pleasant Hill, Calif. - 36-34--70

Stephen Fox, Huntington, W.Va. - 36-35--71

Louis Lee, Heber Springs, Ark. - 36-35--71

Steve Golliher, Knoxville, Tenn. - 35-36--71

Casey Boyns, Monterey, Calif. - 36-35--71

Graham Cooke, Canada - 35-36--71

Kevin Carey, South Dennis, Mass. - 37-34--71

Mike Booker, The Woodlands, Texas - 35-37--72

Martin West, Rockville, Md. - 37-35--72

Curtis Skinner, Lake Bluff, Ill. - 38-34--72

James Pearson, Charlotte, N.C. - 39-33--72

Rick Luzar, Pinehurst, N.C. - 35-37--72

Brady Exber, Las Vegas, Nev. - 37-35--72

Roger Brown, Scottsdale, Ariz. - 39-33--72

Gary Hardin, Fort Worth, Texas - 39-33--72

Jim Rollefson, Franklin, Wis. - 37-35--72

John Grace, Fort Worth, Texas - 36-36--72

Hunter Nelson, Houston, Texas - 38-34--72

Jim Knoll, Sunnyvale, Calif. - 38-34--72

Tim Dinwiddie, Afton, Tenn. - 35-37--72

David Szewczul, Farmington, Conn. - 35-37--72

Robert Baker, Little Rock, Ark. - 37-35--72

Jim Bango, North Haven, Conn. - 36-36--72

Stephen Sharpe, Greensboro, N.C. - 38-35--73

Douglas Pool, Las Vegas, Nev. - 34-39--73

Emile Vaughan, Pike Road, Ala. - 37-36--73

David Jacobsen, Portland, Ore. - 39-34--73

Doug Potter, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho - 38-35--73

Don Donatoni, Malvern, Pa. - 38-35--73

Randal Lewis, Alma, Mich. - 38-35--73

Robert DeWitt, East Amherst, N.Y. - 37-36--73

Grady Brame Sr., Hammond, La. - 36-37--73

Gerardo Ramirez, San Antonio, Texas - 38-35--73

Jeff Burda, Modesto, Calif. - 36-37--73

John Fritz, Mint Hill, N.C. - 37-36--73

Vinny Giles, Richmond, Va. - 34-40--74

Steven Ford, Trappe, Md. - 37-37--74

John Ervasti, Brooklyn, N.Y. - 38-36--74

Michael Stephens, Carmel, Ind. - 37-37--74

Greg Reynolds, Grand Blanc, Mich. - 38-36--74

George Zahringer, New York, N.Y. - 37-37--74

Robert Mase, Tulsa, Okla. - 35-39--74

Tom Hyland, Marlton, N.J. - 39-35--74

Don Marsh, Johns Creek, Ga. - 39-35--74

Leif Carlson, Apple Valley, Minn. - 38-36--74

Joe Russo, Sewell, N.J. - 39-35--74

Steve Rogers, Bowling Green, Ky. - 36-38--74

Jay Blumenfeld, Parsippany, N.J. - 38-36--74

Robert Bachman, Farmington, Utah - 35-39--74

Bob Griesgraber, Vadnais Heights, Minn. - 39-35--74

Douglas Hanzel, Savannah, Ga. - 40-35--75

George Roat, Windermere, Fla. - 37-38--75

Dennis Younglove, Davis, Calif. - 36-39--75

Owen Joyner, Spring, Texas - 39-36--75

Neil Spitalny, Chattanooga, Tenn. - 40-35--75

Ben Hargis, Alexandria, La. - 38-37--75

Lynn Martin, Findlay, Ohio - 40-35--75

Patrick Carrigan, Walnut, Calif. - 39-36--75

Kemp Richardson, Laguna Niguel, Calif. - 38-37--75

David Mooty, Eden Prairie, Minn. - 35-40--75

Danny Green, Jackson, Tenn. - 38-37--75

Davis Driver, El Paso, Texas - 38-37--75

Mike Fedewa, Canton, Mich. - 37-38--75

Vance Antoniou, North Barrington, Ill. - 37-38--75

Andrew Conway, Pittsford, N.Y. - 39-36--75

Kelly Crone, Englewood, Colo. - 39-36--75

Hal Marshall, Littleton, Colo. - 38-38--76

Bill Probst, Midway, Utah - 39-37--76

Michael Occi, Clarksville, Md. - 40-36--76

Leon Roday, Richmond, Va. - 38-38--76

Robert Stahl, Santa Ana, Calif. - 37-39--76

Michael Kawate, Aiea, Hawaii - 42-34--76

Mike Rice, Houston, Texas - 39-37--76

Doug Ritter, Davie, Fla. - 39-37--76

Tom Norton, Muscatine, Iowa - 37-39--76

Gregory Hetzer, San Pedro, Calif. - 37-39--76

Steve Paulsen, Las Vegas, Nev. - 39-37--76

Rick Weihe, Bellingham, Wash. - 37-39--76

Patrick Tallent, Vienna, Va. - 39-37--76

George Walker, Mobile, Ala. - 38-38--76

John Olive, Colorado Springs, Colo. - 39-37--76

Greg Osborne, Lititz, Pa. - 36-40--76

Steve Pelzl, Aberdeen, S.D. - 37-39--76

Pat O'Donnell, Happy Valley, Ore. - 38-38--76

Colin Ahern, Andover, Mass. - 41-35--76

Ronald Kilby, McAllen, Texas - 38-38--76

Jorge Gaudiano, Mexico - 40-37--77

Raymond Emsley, Davisburg, Mich. - 38-39--77

Norton Brick, Elyria, Ohio - 36-41--77

Bill Tribou, Lakeville, Mass. - 40-37--77

Alan Fadel, Toledo, Ohio - 37-40--77

Gary Kirwan, McKinney, Texas - 38-39--77

Jim McNelis, Gig Harbor, Wash. - 40-37--77

Bob Stephens, Indianapolis, Ind. - 43-34--77

G. Munroe Cobey, Chapel Hill, N.C. - 37-40--77

Armen Dirtadian, Tucson, Ariz. - 40-37--77

Philip Pleat, Nashua, N.H. - 37-40--77

Sam Till Jr., Fort Wayne, Ind. - 39-38--77

George Kelley, Merced, Calif. - 41-37--78

Ron Eilers, Kansas City, Mo. - 40-38--78

George Marucci Jr., Villanova, Pa. - 40-38--78

John Wray, Fort Wayne, Ind. - 41-37--78

Jim Wise, Columbia, S.C. - 39-39--78

Doug Lacrosse, Tampa, Fla. - 40-38--78

Mike Puls, Irving, Texas - 40-38--78

Jack Kearney, Peachtree City, Ga. - 39-39--78

Jay Sessa, Garden City, N.Y. - 39-39--78

Dennis Vaughn, Germantown, Tenn. - 40-38--78

Mike Gravley, Greer, S.C. - 40-38--78

David Mears, Citra, Fla. - 40-38--78

Mike Bell, Indianapolis, Ind. - 36-42--78

Mark Rallas, Leesburg, Va. - 40-39--79

Randy Campbell, Asheville, N.C. - 39-40--79

Ron Vannelli, Edison, N.J. - 39-40--79

Bill Clanton, Leesburg, Ga. - 40-39--79

Mark Mann, Ann Arbor, Mich. - 40-39--79

Richard Marlowe, Youngstown, Ohio - 38-41--79

Marshall Morgan, Odessa, Texas - 40-39--79

James Saivar, San Diego, Calif. - 39-40--79

Michael Hoefs, Lincoln, Neb. - 37-42--79

Christopher Blair, Nipomo, Calif. - 41-38--79

Stan Lefrak, Folsom, Calif. - 39-40--79

Wesley Paxson Jr., Jacksonville, Fla. - 40-39--79

Kevin Hayes, La Jolla, Calif. - 39-40--79

Hal Wright, Shreveport, La. - 39-40--79

Douglas Alt, Salina, Kan. - 40-40--80

Gus Sylvan, Columbia, S.C. - 40-40--80

Don Russell, Tequesta, Fla. - 39-41--80

Bruce Scamehorn, Winter Haven, Fla. - 40-40--80

Ron Carter, Monticello, Ind. - 41-39--80

Don Eklund, San Diego, Calif. - 38-42--80

Michael Fosdick, Theodore, Ala. - 41-40--81

James Seymour, Bakersfield, Calif. - 42-39--81

David Lind, Burr Ridge, Ill. - 40-41--81

Chip Ward, South Burlington, Vt. - 40-41--81

Mickey Jones, Odessa, Texas - 40-41--81

Tom Perry, Indianapolis, Ind. - 41-40--81

John Hull, Clayton, Mo. - 40-42--82

Richard Hunt, Bixby, Okla. - 41-41--82

Marlin Detweiler, Akron, Pa. - 40-42--82

Thomas Lynett, Rye, N.Y. - 41-41--82

Blair Subry, Wauconda, Ill. - 40-42--82

Jarratt Jones, Boerne, Texas - 44-39--83

Brian Hawke, Temple Terrace, Fla. - 45-40--85

William Thomas Doughtie, Amarillo, Texas - WD