LEWISTON – Dakota McNealy's Porter Cup debut was going well until he reached the 17th hole.
The brutal par-4 gobbled up McNealy's tee shot out of bounds, sending him on his way to a triple bogey. A bounce-back birdie on the par-3 18th gave McNealy a round of 3-over 73 at Niagara Falls Country Club.
I made five birdies today, so that's good," McNealy said. "It always means your game's close if you're making that many birdies."
Among participants in this year's event, McNealy has one of the more interesting stories. His father, Scott, co-founded Sun Microsystems, which was acquired by Oracle Corp. for $7.4 million in 2010. His older brother, Maverick, is the No. 1 amateur in the world – but has considered passing up the pursuit of a professional career.
At just 18, Dakota McNealy is at least a few years away from making those kinds of decisions.
"I have no idea what I want to do," he said after Wednesday's round. "I want to get my mechanical engineering degree at Stanford, and after that I'll let the rest take care of itself. For right now I'm focused on getting my game better and getting ready for school in the fall."
Dakota McNealy will be a freshman with the Cardinal in the fall, joining Maverick for his senior year. Maverick McNealy is playing as an amateur in the Web.com Tour's Ellie May Classic in California, so he had to miss this year's Porter Cup.
"He couldn't make it, unfortunately," Dakota McNealy said, "but he told me it's a really cool event. I'ver heard great things about it from everybody who's played in it. ... I'm really enjoying it so far."
Dakota McNealy tees off for the second round at 11:10 a.m. Friday.