Clements falls 2 back of leaders at UPGA
Esky's Robinette, Gladstone's Peterson share lead after Day 2
GLADSTONE — There wasn’t much room for error for golfers Thursday at the top of the leaderboard after Day 2 of the Upper Peninsula Golf Association men’s championship tournament at Terrace Bluff Golf and Country Club.
Brian Robinette of Escanaba and Rudy Peterson of Gladstone share the lead at 3-under par after each shot 71 for two-day totals of 141.
“I played good in terms of my golf swing … it felt really good,” Robinette said. “I’ve always talked in the past about just getting that first round out of the way. I don’t care if you’ve played in one of these one or a thousand times, you need that first day to just kind of settle your nerves.
“I felt like I had pretty good control of my swings. I missed a couple birdies that maybe I could have made, I had a sloppy double-bogey on 11. When you’re 47 years old you’re going to have those moments, so I kind of prepared for that.
“I told myself going into this week not to make a big deal out of mistakes and just rebound, so I was glad I was able to follow my own advice, so to speak.”
Gladstone’s Bryce Douglas gained some traction, shooting 2-under to pull within a stroke of the leaders; and after being tied at the top after round one, Ishpeming’s Mark Clements shot a 1-over 73 to fall two strokes back.
“Well, the first tee shot I hit on No. 1 went right in the water,” Douglas said. “I was able to bounce back and make par.
“I shot 3-under on the front for a 33 and I thought there were quite a few more birdies out there, but I missed a few short ones. Then I got to the back and hit pretty much every green in regulation, but I couldn’t make the putts and three-putted twice.
“I’m just happy to be in it and I think I’m in a pretty good spot.”
Gladstone’s Matt Argall shot an even-par 72 for the second straight day, putting him three strokes back. Argall was born and raised in his youth in Ishpeming.
“It was kind of like (Wednesday), I still haven’t figured out how to hit that draw yet,” Argall said. “I made the turn at 2-under, I three-putted on 11 but I got a birdie on 12 and then I just did some stupid stuff on 13 and 14. I made a couple birdies on the way in but I just played some bad golf. Overall, I’m satisfied.”
Norway’s Chad Tirschel and Escanaba’s Mark Gauthier each sit four strokes back. Tirschel played himself into a better spot with a 1-under performance Thursday after shooting 3-over Wednesday.
“I played well,” Tirschel said. “I made more putts than I did yesterday. My whole group was good — we all made a lot of pars together and we all played well. It’s fun playing when we’re all playing well.”
Tom LaVigne sits five strokes back, followed by Carter Mason of Negaunee and Northern Michigan University and Joe Quinn at six strokes back.
Jim Markell and Jim Wagner will round out the championship flight. The rest of the field was divided into five other flights.
Robinette knows the winner will be the one who makes the least mistakes.
“The way the Bluff is playing and the caliber of players that are there, you’re going to have to play really sound golf,” Robinette said. “Mistakes have to be a bogey here or a bogey there, and you’re going to have to shoot some red scores coming in and make some birdies. Anyone who shoots a 75 is going to have a tough time coming into tomorrow.
“The fact that there’s six or seven players still in the mix shows the course is holding its own. I think people would be surprised 3-under par would be tied for the lead after two days, but the course doesn’t give up a lot when you play off the blue tees and you have to get everything in the hole.”