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Kramer leads Senior U.P. golf

Justin St. Ours | Daily Press Paul Gayan of the Escanaba Country Club chips the ball onto the 18th green of the Terrace Bluff Golf Club in Gladstone Monday during the 2020 Senior UPGA men’s tournament.

GLADSTONE — In a field of over 120 golfers and four former champions, Tim Kramer of Riverside Country Club in Menominee took a one-stroke lead by shooting a 1-under par 71 on the first day of the U.P. Senior Golf Championship Monday at Terrace Bluff.

Today’s championship flight is packed tight behind the Wisconsin native with eight other golfers finishing with a 72 or 73 after Monday’s opening round.

Tom Lavigne of Iron Mountain, Gary Sharpe of Sault Ste. Marie, Troy Carlson of Rapid River and 2014 UPGA men’s champion Joe Quinn of Gladstone all are just one stroke back at 72.

Stiff competition lurks only another stroke behind as defending champion Mark Ray of the Highland and former three-peat champion Jim Wagner of Marinette sit at 73 along with Dan Soderman of Nahma and Steve Douglas of Terrace Bluff.

Rounding out the championship flight will be two more former champs — Scott Saari of Wawonowin (2018) and Matt Smith Jr. of Irish Oaks (2004 UPGA champ). Saari and Smith finished with a 74 along with Erik Spindler.

2017 senior champ Larry Bratonia of Irish Oaks sits only a few strokes behind at 75.

The flights begin this morning at 8:30 with the championship flight teeing off at 12:22.

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