DETROIT LAKES — The 82nd Pine to Palm Golf Tournament field is on the track to being one of the toughest in the last several years and the first day of qualifying certainly didn’t detract from that notion.
The 2013 cut of 148 may be lowered if the type of scores posted Tuesday is any indication, but there was one thing which was constant from last year’s tournament and that’s a University of Minnesota golfer leading the pack.
Last year, it was Gopher senior Jon Trasamar who captured medalist honors with a final two-round score of 133, while after day one this time around, it’s U of M sophomore Grady Meyer of Fargo who leads the way with his seven-under par 64.
But Meyer will have plenty of close competition today (Wednesday), with Pine to Palm stalwart and former champion Greg Melhus carding a six-under 65.
Two players shot four-under in Andrew Passanante of Fargo and Chris Swenson, who each stroked a 67, while a total of six shot a 68, including Jacob Montplaisir, Dylan Baker, Alex Kline, Ben Welle, Dominic Kieffer and Thomas Strandemo.
Last year’s Pine to Palm runner-up and former Detroit Lakes resident Robert Wagner picked up where he left off by shooting a solid 69, while a total of eight players shot one-under par and eight shot par.
With those scores, a total of 27 players were at par or lower.
Local players’ scores include Tanner Lane 71, Ben Mallow 72, Jamie Lessard 73, Natalie Roth 75, Mox Gunderson 76, Karter Smith 76, Austin Rusness 77, Sam Goral 78, Adam McArthur 79 and Logan Kranstover 83.
There are also several former Pine to Palm champions who are having yet another good showing in qualifying in Melhus (65), Todd Hillier (70), Rick Kuhn (70) and Connor Holland (72).
The Super Senior champion from 2013, Chuck Renner, passed up his automatic berth into match play for the second year in a row to chase his fourth medalist honor and it worked out perfectly…almost.
Renner won his fourth Super Seniors’ medalist honor, along with Paul Krueger, who each fired a one-over par 72. Renner is also the three-time Super Senior champion and it doesn’t look like he’s missing a beat in 2014.
In Mid-Am action, Perry Piatz will have the top seed as defending champion, while Scott Uithoven ran away with medalist honors by four strokes by carding a 72-72 for a final two-over 144.
Perham’s Bob Cavanagh and Jim Mikkelson each finished with a 148.
The Senior field is yet to be set, with plenty left to qualify today (Wednesday). Leading the way, thus far, is former champion Rob Harris, who carded a one-over 72, while each of Jim Brothers and Scott Linnerooth finished with a qualifying round score of 73.
The championship field will finish qualifying to fill the 64-man bracket, which will not include Trasamar, who is currently playing professionally on the Dakota Tour.
Match play for all divisions, including numbered flights, starts Thursday and will run through to championship Sunday at the Detroit Country Club.