Tight leaderboard after day one of Pro-Am
Only five of 43 pro golfers broke 70 on day one of the Scotts Bluff Country Club/Oregon Trail Pro Am Friday, but 11 more bettered or tied par to make it a logjam on the leaderboard.
Drew Stoltz, who plays on the Gateway Tour, led the way with a six under par 66. He has a one stroke lead on three other golfers in Tom Glissmeyer, Brad Besler and Chris Gilman. Scottsbluff native Brandon Meininger paced local golfers with a 69.
The 2005 Scottsbluff High School grad said conditions were tough. "It seemed like the wind changed directions every couple of holes. That made it tough."
Friday's round was Meininger's first as a pro. "I was pretty nervous," he said. "I just need to stay focused. There is a long way to go. Hopefully I can continue to score."
In the pro field, but playing as an amateur, Scottsbluff's Paul Mohr also turned in a good day with a two under 70. He is tied with three other golfers for sixth. Ben Portie, Raul Cortez and Owen Mahaffey also shot 70's.
There is also a four way tie for 10th as Brad Marek, Justin Spray, Klint Kreiger and two time Pro-Am champ Mike Kitowski all had one under 71's. Six more golfers are sitting at even par 72 including Ogallala native Mike Plate and last year's champ Michael Baird.
Other notables struggled a bit Friday. Five time champ Jeff Klein had a 75 as did Gering natives Austin Miller and Derek Eskam. Another Gering product, Andrew Filbert had a 74.
Former Mitchell standout, and Pro-Am champ Nate Lashley checked in with a 76, as did current Tiger teacher and coach Brock Ehler. Two other local products, Ryan Bolzer and Max Hadenfeldt, had a 77 and 82 respectively.
The amateur teams played a scramble format Friday. The top score of 52.1 was turned in by the Vicki Begley-Century 21 team. The quartet included Kirk Begley, Mert VanNewkirk, Brad Bringelson and John Bringelson.
They had a narrow lead over the Valley Bank team. Tom Ritterbush, Ladd Harrison, Brian Judy and John Stinner had a 52.3
Rounding out the top three was the Subway squad of Dave Liberg, Tom Liberg, Lane Landercasper and Phil Landercasper. They combined for a 53.1.
Saturday's format is best ball.
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