Whaley's 70 leads at Minnesota Mid-Am
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (Sept. 11, 2013) – After the opening round of the 2013 Minnesota Golf Association Mid-Amateur Championship, Tom Whaley took the early lead with a 3-under par 70 Wednesday as the championship began at both Alexandria Golf Club and Geneva Golf Clubs.

Whaley, the 2009 winner, had a brilliant opening nine holes at Geneva Golf Club to start the tournament as he quickly went to 1-under par with a birdie on the third hole. Another birdie at the fifth hole, and Whaley, Minneapolis Golf Club, moved to 2-under and would get to 3-under with a birdie at the par-4 seventh hole.

Whaley’s back nine was much quieter as he started with a bogey on the 10th hole to drop back to 2-under. After seven consecutive pars, Whaley rolled in his fourth birdie of the day on the final hole to finish on top of the leaderboard at 3-under par 70.

Two-time defending champion Sammy Schmitz is very much in contention after he carded a 1-under par 72 at Geneva Golf Club and ended the day tied for second place.

Schmitz, Valleywood Golf Course, began his round with four consecutive pars before a birdie at the par-4 put him at 1-under par. He made four more pars before a birdie on the par-5 11th put him at 2-under par.

A bogey on the 15th hole dropped Schmitz back to 1-under for the day, but he responded with a birdie on the following hole to go back to 2-under. Schmitz finished his round with a bogey on the final hole to finish at 1-under par 72.

MGA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Tom Ryan also sits tied for second place at 1-under, shooting a 72 at Geneva Golf Club Wednesday. Ryan, Hazeltine National Golf Club, played a very consistent and solid round with a birdie on the fifth hole to take him to 1-under for the day.

With a bogey on the sixth, Ryan drew back to even but responded with a birdie on the next hole, to again go to 1-under. Ryan would finish his round with 11 consecutive pars to end the day 1-under par 72.

Also tied for second at 1-under are Ryan Alsleben, Litchfield Golf Club, Will Hickey, StoneRidge Golf Club, and Josh Blackman of Mankato Golf Club.

Six players are tied for seventh at even par.

The second round will begin at 8:00 a.m. Thursday at both Alexandria Golf Club and Geneva Golf Club.

ABOUT THE Minnesota Mid-Amateur

In 1988, the MGA Mid-Amateur Championship was introduced at Edina Country Club. It is similar to the Amateur except participants must be 30 years or older and have a handicap index of 6.4 or lower. The low 54-hole score determines the winner. It is one of the most popular events, aside from the Amateur, as 264 players start the championship with aspirations of the title.

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