Haslett PGA teaching professional Chris Mory shot a 7-under 65 Monday to lead after the first round of Tournament of Champions at Boyne Mountain Resort.
Eric Lilleboe, a 30-year-old mini-tour golfer from Okemos, shot 66, and PGA Tour Champions player Tom Werkmeister of Grandville shot 67 with a 6-under 30 on the back nine, while Sam Weatherhead, a mini-tour player from Grand Rapids shot 67 in the afternoon with three consecutive birdies and an eagle-2 on No. 9 holing out from the fairway on the front nine.
“I hit some close wedges, hit some close irons shots and even made birdie out of a fairway bunker (No. 4),” said Mory, 28, a teacher with the Jason Guss Academy at the Hawk Hollow Properties. “Today I just tried to aim to spots where I knew my ball would kind of funnel closer to the hole, and I played a little more conservative and I made a few putts.”
Recent Michigan Open champion Jake Kneen of White Lake shot 68, and was the low amateur in the first round.
Scott Hebert, the head golf professional at Traverse City Golf & Country Club, the 2009 winner here, shot 69, as did Travis Dodson of Garden City and Meadowbrook Country Club in Northville. Defending champion Mike Nagy of Manistique opened with a 70.
The Tournament of Champions field of 113 golfers, which includes 16 golfers already in the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, launched 27 years ago with juniors, seniors, professionals and amateurs of both sexes all playing for one title from different tee positions. All who are invited have won selected significant Michigan golf championships, both amateur and professional.
The field switches to the Monument course for Tuesday’s second round. A cut will be made following to the low 60 scorers and ties for Wednesday’s final round on the Alpine in the 54-hole $55,000 championship.