TRURO - Benn Boutilier exacted a little revenge Monday during the opening round of Truro Golf Club's junior club championship.
Now the five shot leader is looking to close the 36-hole deal today and gain some bragging rights over his friend and defending champion James Shapleigh.
"James can go really low so I have to hit fairways and greens and stay on my game plan," Boutilier, an 18-year-old North River resident said. "I can't let whatever he's doing bother me, I just have to stick to my game."
That was Boutilier's recipe for success Monday on his way to carding three-over-par 74 in spite of conditions ranging from heavy rain to blazing sun throughout their round on the par-71, 6,090-yard layout.
Shapleigh, a 17-year-old Truro resident who nipped Boutilier by four strokes for the title a year ago, shot 79 to sit second entering today's final round.
"It rained a lot but I hit it good (yesterday)," Boutilier said. "I just hit fairways and greens. That was the big thing I was trying to do and I did it for the most part and I was pleased with that. It was good to grind it out in the rain."
Boutilier and Shapleigh are well clear of Mark Rau, who lies third after shooting 83.
Patrick Jackson, Christian Huntley and Isaac MacNaughton all shot 89 to top the midget division. Madeline Young, 10, sits atop the girls leaderboard.
Boutilier and Shapleigh are both employees in the back shop at the club and are typically able to squeeze in a round together most mornings. Although the tournament is an important one to both golfers, the bragging rights that would accompany a victory over the other are just as enticing.
"This is my last year of junior so it would mean a lot if I could pull off a win but there's still (today) to play so we'll see how that goes," Boutilier said, smiling.
The friendly rivalry showed Monday as the two were paired in a group along with Rau.
"We're good about it, joking around, talking each other up and keeping each other calm," Boutilier said. "It's not like we're battling it out, we're having fun with it."
Fun or not, those extra morning rounds have done a lot for Boutilier's game, he feels, and were a big part of his solid opening day. Boutilier said he felt comfortable teeing off after not recording a score higher than 79 in the past several weeks.
"I've been playing pretty good," he said. "It took me a while to find a good swing because at the start of the year I just swung as hard as I could but now I'm playing a little more controlled."