Balen shoots 65 to capture first-round lead at Otesaga Hotel Seniors Open

Aebli Two Back Heading Into Thursday’s Second Round

September 05, 2012


COOPERSTOWN, NY – Mark Balen of Orchard Park, N.Y., shot a 6-under par 65 on Wednesday to grab the first-round lead at the Otesaga Hotel Seniors Open in Cooperstown.

Mark Aebli of West Dover, Vt., shot a 67 to finish the first round in second place,while five golfers were three shots off the lead at 68: Kirk Hanefeld of Acton, Mass.; Mike Lawrence of Anderson, S.C.; Mark Mielke of East Norwich, N.Y.; John Ross of Freeman, W.Va.; and Javier Sanchez of McDonough, Ga.

The 30th annual tournament continues through Friday, with 90 senior golfers from throughout the country competing for a total purse of $67,750. The traditional post-Labor Day event is hosted by the Otesaga Hotel and its Leatherstocking Golf Course, with NBT Bank the presenting sponsor. Play concludes at Leatherstocking late Friday, followed by an awards ceremony and check presentation to this year's champion.

Proceeds from this event benefit Pathfinder Village, located in nearby Edmeston, N.Y., a residential community dedicated to children and adults with Down syndrome. Annually, the Seniors Open raises more than $50,000 for scholarships for Pathfinder Village.

Proceeds also benefit the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum educational programs, which enable the world-famous Museum to fulfill its educational mission and care for its collections.