UPGA Men’s Championship: Manistique’s Nagy shoots 68 to lead field after Day 1

MANISTIQUE – As the first day of golf at the UPGA Men’s Championship drew to a close at the Indian Lake Golf and Country Club on Thursday, Mike Nagy of Manistique left little room for surprises. He finished with a 68, which was the top score for the day.

“This is my home course, so I’ve played it thousands of times,” Nagy said. “I know it pretty well.”

Nagy, who is now a sophomore at the University of Tennessee, added he felt very comfortable playing on the course, and it was almost as if he had never left.

“It was pretty solid,” he said. “I had it to six under, and then I made one bad decision on hole 14. But besides that, I was pretty happy with it.”

Scott Lancour of Escanaba had the second best outing of the day, finishing with a 71.

Chad Wester of Marquette, Tim Drees of Menominee, Joe Quinn of Gladstone and Mark Clements of Ishpeming all shot 73s, while Joe Collard of Menominee and Erik Spindler of Gladstone shot 74.

Several competitors came in with scores of 75, including Rob Ryan of Manistique, Reese Lassila of Calumet, Tim Steiger of Ironwood, Ben Strong of Ontonagon and Dustin Dishaw of Crystal Falls.

Jim Markell, who won last year’s UPGA crown, shared the green with Nagy and finished at 78.

“It was a disappointment today,” Markell said. “It started off as a grind and I bogeyed three of the first four holes, but I was able to save a couple of strokes at the end and have a fighting chance at making something happen tomorrow.”

He also said that it was a pleasure to watch Nagy play.

“He was awesome today,” Markell said. “He just knows where to hit the ball and make the shots and he should. He grew up on this course and you expect that out of him, but you never assume anything. For him to come out and put up a number like he did, it’s fun to watch. He’ll be tough to beat the next three days.”

The UPGA Championship continues through Sunday, and the qualifying rounds will end after today’s events.