BLOOMFIELD TWP. — Ovid-Elsie alumnus Nick Gunthorpe opened the Michigan Amateur with a 1-under 69 Tuesday in the first round of stroke play at Oakland Hills Country Club’s North Course.
Gunthorpe was in a group of six players tied for seventh place who shot 69, which includes last year’s runner up, Anthony Sorentino of Shelby Township, and 2018 GAM Champion James Piot of Canton and Michigan State’s golf team.
A former Grand Valley State and Ovid-Elsie High School standout, Gunthorpe had three birdies on the back nine to offset a 2-over score on the front. He’ll tee off the second round today at 12:40 p.m.
Florida Gulf Coast University golfer Logan Price, of Grand Blanc, led the tournament with a 6-under 64. He held a two-shot lead over Carter Austin of Port Sanilac, who had a bogey-free 66.
Price, 21, tied the best score ever recorded by an amateur on the course — also held by Oakland Hills members Jim Graham and Scott Strickland — and was one off the best score previously recorded on the North, a 63 by the PGA Tour’s Matt Kuchar in a 2007 British Open qualifier hosted by the club.
Price chipped in for a birdie from just off the back of the green on the par 3 No. 10, his starting hole in the morning wave. Next, from the middle of the fairway and 195 yards out on the 460-yard par 4 No. 11, his 5-iron second shot bounced once on the green and went in the hole for an eagle-2. He wasn’t done yet. On the next hole, No. 12, a 516-yard par 5, he made another birdie and was 4-under through three holes. He finished the round with the eagle, five birdies and just one bogey.
“I’ve been 4-under through four before, but this was the best start yet,” he said. “I was in the fairway all day and missed only two greens. I think of myself as a good ball-striker and I had a good day. I missed two short putts, but the putter was warm most of the day and I figure the eagle cancelled one of those missed ones out.”
Andrew Walker of Battle Creek and Michigan State, last year’s record-setting stroke play medalist, opened with a 70 and defending champion Beau Breault of Hartland, a recent graduate of Eastern Michigan, shot 72.
Byron native Brandt Nelson was in a tie for 84th after a 7-over 77. The Northwood University golfer will tee off his second round today at 12:55 p.m.
Today is the final round of stroke play before the field is cut to 64 players for the match play section of the tournament, which runs Thursday to Saturday.