After one day at Muscatine Municipal Golf Course, it’s anybody’s tournament.
Sam Hermann is the leader at the George Lohman City Golf Tournament after day one with a 69. Tom Norton (70), Matt Randleman (70) and J.T. McKee (71) round out the top four.
Hermann shot 3-under par Saturday. He placed fourth last year and second in 2017 when he was one putt away from forcing a playoff with eventual champion John Peters. This year, he sank five birdies and an eagle on hole 16 to snatch the day one lead.
Norton, the 2016 champion, remains in the hunt just one stroke back of the lead. His 33 on the back nine is tied with Randleman for the lowest nine-hole score of the day.
Randleman had 6 birdies and nine pars on the day.
For Norton, his steady play is what got him to 2-under par. He had 12 pars and four birdies on the day, and he says that sort of play will be key in his quest for another title.
“I was just steady and kept the ball in front of me,” Norton said. “The greens are running really nice.”
Defending champion Bryan Lemkau is still in the thick of things as well with a 73 in round one. He had 12 pars and three birdies on the day. He finished on a high note, too, with an eagle on hole 18 to gain some momentum and “get back to respectable.”
Lemkau said the fast greens and wind gave him some issues on Saturday.
“I think I missed four birdies inside of five feet today,” Lemkau said. “That’s not something I usually do.”
Still, Lemkau is only four strokes back of first place, so the opportunity remains for him to claim his fifth title in the event.
“Four strokes back, I’ve turned over margins like that before,” Lemkau said. “That’s doable, just takes some better play.”
On Thursday afternoon earlier this week, the golf club said Lemkau had yet to enter the tournament. After reading that in Friday’s Journal, Lemkau called the club because he signed up about four weeks ago and got it corrected. He never considered not playing despite the pain in his neck and back after winning the Quad-City Amateur golf title at Emeis Golf Course at the end of May.
He credits his chiropractor with getting him ready for one of his favorite events of the year.
“I had a lot of issues with my neck at Emeis,” Lemkau said. “It was three-quarter swings all the way around. I planned on playing in this tournament, it’s a great tournament. There are a lot of good golfers in Muscatine and the golf community is awesome.
“I wouldn’t miss it unless I couldn’t move my neck.”
Former Muskie golfer Bryce Howard is in a tie for sixth in the Open Division after shooting a 74. Former Muskies Joshua Hutton and J.T. Manjoine each shot a 79. Muscatine boys golf coach Scott Schultz shot a 77.
In the Senior Division, Mark Hutchings sits atop the leaderboard with a 74. The three-time reigning champion had 10 pars and four birdies and credited his putting for his round one lead. He’s two strokes ahead of Steve Graham.
“I putted really well,” Hutchings said. “I think that was the main thing. I made a couple birdies early and kind of scrambled the rest of the way.”
The highlight of the day came early in the morning from Bruce Levasseur, who hit a hole-in-one on the third hole. Hole 3 at Muscatine Municipal Golf Course is a 139-yard par-3. Levesseur is currently in third place of the Super Senior Division with an 81. Jeff Finn is the leader with a 75 and Doug Roelle is in second with a 77 after round one.
Teri Terrill, the lone participant in the Ladies Division, shot a 112.