Pine Valley defended itself well against many of the country's best mid-amateurs and seniors on Thursday, allowing no par-or-better rounds as the 95th Crump Cup got underway at the nation's top-ranked course.
How hard were scoring conditions? Only two mid-amateurs and one senior were able to break par on a single nine.
Two-time champion Michael Muehr (McLean, Va.) is among three players sharing the lead at 2-over 72, joining Jeff Osberg of Bryn Mawr, Pa. and Charles Waddell of Chicago, Ill.
Former U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Scott Harvey (Kernersville, N.C.) sits one shot back at 3 over, along with Dennis Bull of Norwalk, Iowa.
The last two men to finish as Crump Cup runner-up -- Brad Nurski of St. Joseph, Mo. and Bill Williamson of Cincinnati, Ohio -- are among those tied for sixth at 4-over 74.
After tomorrow's second round of stroke play qualifying, the top 16 players will advance to the championship match play bracket. For now there are 18 players at 75 or lower.
Among those on the outside looking in are former U.S. Mid-Amateur champions Kevin O'Connell (76), Matt Parziale (76), Stewart Hagestad (77) , and Nathan Smith (77), as well as last-week's U.S. Mid-Amateur runner-up Joseph Deraney (78).
The defending champion Patrick Duffy (Omaha, Neb.) also shot 76.
Related: Duffy claims 2018 Crump Cup victory after 19-hole final
In the Senior Division, Oscar Mestre of Berwyn, Pa. shot a 1-over 71 to lead by one shot over 2008 Crump Senior champion Steve Smyers of Lakeland, Fla.
The defending Senior champion Gene Elliott (W. Des Moines, Iowa) shot a 74 to sit in third spot, tied with Tommy Brennan of Covington, La.
The top eight players will advance to the championship senior match play bracket. Five players are currently tied for 8th spot at 6-over 76, including former Crump Cup and U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Mike McCoy (W. Des Moines, Iowa), past Crump Cup winner Bill McGuinness (Haddonfield, N.J.), and former Crump Senior champ John McClure (Austin, Tex.).
Stroke play qualifying concludes on Friday, with match play in all brackets commencing on Saturday morning.
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ABOUT THE Crump Cup
The George A. Crump Memorial Tournament--
hotelier and course architect most famous for
Pine Valley -- is arguably the premier mid-
event in the United States. The invitational field
made of of top players from around the United
and the UK. The format for the four days is two
of stroke play qualifying, followed by four
match play. Players are flighted according to
qualifying position, and a separate Senior flight
includes three of those flights. Jay Sigel has won
event the most times, with nine victories
1975 and 1993.
Normally, the public is invited to attend the Sunday
final matches but that tradition has been suspended
2021 in light of the uncertainty surrounding the
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