Former Madison Cub Blair Shadday is tied for ninth after the first round of the 2012 PGA Assistants Championship at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Shadday, a 1998 graduate of Madison who is now an assistant pro at the Purgatory Golf Club in Fishers, carded a two-under par 70 in Thursday's opening round and trails first round leader Ryan Vermeer by just four strokes.

Shadday opened his round on hole number one of the Wannamaker Course at 1:12 p.m. Thursday in a threesome with Andy Smith of Grand Marais, Minn., and Mike Roters of Clarkston, Wash. Smith shot a one-over 73 while Roters carded a five-over 77.

The former Cub and grandson of retired Madison Sunrise Golf Course pro Bob Rusk, carded a 70 (35-35) with five birdies, three bogeys and 10 pars. He hit 8-of-14 fairways and 9-of-18 greens in regulation and had one bunker save. He one-putted on all five birdie holes but found the rough on all three bogey holes.

Vermeer, who leads Bobby Pancratz of Scottsdale, Ariz., by two strokes, is a 34-year-old PGA apprentice at Oak Hills Country Club in Omaha, Neb. He had seven birdies and one bogey in his morning round on the Wanamaker Course. Pancratz is a PGA assistant at The Golf Club of Scottsdale.

Two-time defending champion Frank Bensel of Purchase, N.Y., shot a 74 while Indiana's other entry, Andrew Stolze of Brownsburg, an assistant pro at Country Club of Indianapolis, carded a 85 (44-41). Bensel is flirting with the projected second round cut number of five-over par while Stolze will have to shoot a great round today to just hang around for the weekend.

Shadday will begin his second round at 1:12 p.m. today on the 10th tee. Players who survive today's cut - the top 70 and ties will remain for the final 36 holes - will compete for a $100,000 purse that pays $9,000 to the winner plus an exemption to compete in the 2013 PGA Professional National Championship next summer at Sunriver Resort in Oregon.

Shadday earned his spot in the national PGA assistants field when he defended his statewide title at the 2012 Indiana PGA Assistant Championship last summer at Meridian Hills Country Club with a three-round total 216.

This year is Shadday's second consecutive trip to the national tourney and third overall. He missed the 36-hole cut in the event in both 2009 and 2011.