golf

EagleHerald/Brian Bell

Evan Kramer of Menominee watches his second shot on the par 5 17th hole during the first round of the UPGA men's championships at Riverside Golf Club on Thursday.

MENOMINEE — The Upper Peninsula Golf Association men’s championship picked a gorgeous day to start its 106th installment, and golfers took advantage of the weather by posting some low rounds to kick off the tournament.

Led by Scott Prunick of Marquette Golf Club’s 3-under-par 69, 15 other golfers had scores in the 70s with Evan Kramer of Menominee and Riverside Golf Club sitting in third place to lead all area golfers with his even-par 72. Kyle

Pouliot of Terrace Bluff in Gladstone and Carter Mason of Wawonowin Country Club are tied for second with 1-under-par 71.

The defending champion, Bryce Douglas of Gladstone Golf Club struggled to an opening round 83, placing him 14 shots off the lead but there is still a lot of golf left to be played.

The excitement of the day came on hole No. 7, a 148-yard par 3 that is right in the middle of one of the toughest three-hole stretches around the area. Steve Schmidt pulled out an 8-iron on the teebox and after a smooth swing that sent his ball flying, it landed on the green and rolled right in the cup for a hole-in-one. Schmidt, a Riverside member, carded a 1-over-par 73 to put himself in good position for the rest of the week.

Tim Kramer, who recently won the UPGA senior tournament, shot a solid 74 and Brett Hermanson led Little River Country Club with a 77.

In the overall club score, Terrace Bluff is leading Riverside 1 by five strokes as the Bluff totaled 376. Marquette is in third with 391, Wawonowin is fourth with 398, Gladstone Golf Club is fifth with 405 and Riverside 2 and Little River are tied for sixth with 408.