WILLIAMSTOWN — Five-time defending champion Scott Berliner and Ian Breen fired rounds of even-par 71 to tie for the first-round lead in the Northeast New York PGA Stroke Play Championship at Taconic Golf Club on Tuesday.
Taconic head professional Josh Hillman, who won the stroke play title in 2008, shot a 2-over 73 on his home course and is tied for third place with Terence Manziano (Northway, N.Y. Golf Center).
Hillman is one of four Berkshire County pros in the top 10 in the 36-hole tournament that will conclude today. Country Club of Pittsfield head pro Eric Mabee shot a 5-over 75 and is tied for fifth place with Peter Gerard (Mill Road Acres, N.Y. Golf Course) while Taconic assistant pro Peter Egarzian is tied for seventh after a 76 and Dave Strawn (Egremont Country Club) shot a 77 and is in ninth place.
Berliner (Hiland Park, N.Y. Golf Club) finished first in the opening NENY PGA event of the season and tied with Breen (Colonie Golf and Country Club) for top honors in the second. Berliner birdied the par-5 18th hole on Tuesday to move into a tie with Breen, who was 2-under before finishing with a pair of bogeys.
Hillman got off to a fast start with a 2-under 33 on the front but had a 3-over 40 on the back nine that included a double bogey on the par-4 13th while Mabee survived a triple bogey on the par-4 sixth to remain in contention.
The other three Berkshire County players in the field struggled with Steve Mazzariello (Stockbridge Golf Club) carding an 80, Tom Sullivan (Wyantenuck Country Club) finishing with an 82 and Chris Polidoro (Cranwell Spa and Golf Club) had an 86.
Today's tee times will be between 8 and 9:12 a.m.