Mike Bush knocks his ball out of the sand bunker near the 18th green during the Port Huron Elks 2015 Men’s Invitational in Port Huron Township.
It was a small piece of heaven.
The course was pristine, the weather was perfect and the scores were low. What more could you ask for at the Port Huron Elks 2015 Men’s Invitational?
The first competitive round of the tournament began Friday amid near perfect conditions and an even playing field.
“It’s like taking a four-day vacation while you are still at home,” said Marty Grace, who partnered with Rob Carson to shoot 73 and finish the day tied first in the Fifth Flight. “It was a fun day. It’s ding and dong. On a par five if I get a seven, you want your partner getting a five. That’s par. You can literally shoot good rounds but if you both bogie the same hole your score goes up.
“My partner and I ding and dong. When I was bogeying, he was par. When I was par, he was bogey and we were always in the hole. That is the key. You both can shoot a good score, but if you bogey the same holes, you are going up the scoreboard.”
The entire fifth flight, along with several others were neck and neck entering today’s 7 a.m. scramble.
“We are up here to have fun and if we play good, we play good,” said Brian St. Onge, who teamed with his brother Brad to shoot 73 and tie for first place in the fifth flight. “I think the key is having a positive mental attitude the whole time. If you play positive and put the last shot behind you, good or bad, you will do well.
“It’s good to have good competition. That’s what you want. In this particular flight, you can have a guy shoot a 38 or 48. It’s from day-to-day. Anything can happen one day to the next. We have to knock in some putts. It’s a putting war. If you knock in putts, you can win. Just stay even and knock in putts.”
The parity among divisions carried over to the fourth flight, where Robert DeWitt and Mark Thorner closed the first day with a one shot lead after shooting 73.
“It’s my first time here and I thought the course was in great shape,” DeWitt said. “The greens are nice and fast. When you start hitting the ball well and you loosen up, it goes easier for you.”
“It’s a crazy game,” Thorner added. “We kept it in play and he made some great putts. It’s a great time. It’s some good people and some great laughs.”
But it’s not just all fun and games — the players are out to win.
“From the top to the bottom everyone has a chance to compete,” PGA club professional Brian Bowman said. “It’s up to them if they will grind it out.”
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at email@example.com. Follow him on twitter @jhayes1136.