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Marcus Beck, Jay Gregory among leaders at Golfweek Senior POY Classic

Marcus Beck, Jay Gregory among leaders at Golfweek Senior POY Classic

Only one man broke par in the opening round of the Golfweek Player of the Year Classic on Tuesday and he’s leading the tournament’s senior division. Jay Gregory’s 1-under 71 at the Omni Orlando (Florida) Result at ChampionsGate included 17 pars and a single birdie on the par-5 eighth hole, but that birdie gave him a little edge on two men chasing at even par.

Gregory, of Lineville, Iowa, finished fourth at this event a year ago, a big bump from his T-21 finish in 2022. Interestingly, the Midwesterner may be better known for his work hosting a hunting show on The Sportsman Channel than his golf, though his golf also produced top-10 finishes in a handful of state senior tournaments in 2023. Notably, he won the Iowa Senior Masters, finished sixth in the Minnesota Senior Amateur and was eighth at the Iowa Senior Amateur.

Mike Lohner of Southlake, Texas, and Michael Arasin of Auburn, Alabama, are tied for second in the senior division with rounds of 72. Lohner’s round was similar to Gregory’s in its steadiness – he had just one bogey and one birdie – while Arasin offset two bogeys and a double with four birdies.

Scores: Golfweek POY Classic

Doug Hanzel, the 2013 U.S. Senior Amateur champion and a Georgia Golf Hall of Famer, is in the mix at 1 over, which left him solo fourth.

In the super senior division, Marcus Beck kickstarted his 2024 season with a round of 1-over 73 that left him one shot ahead of three players tied for second at 2 over. Beck was Golfweek’s Super Senior Player of the Year in 2023 after winning the Florida Senior Azalea and the Reynolds Senior Invitational, finishing runner-up at the Senior Porter Cup and third at the North & South Senior.

Beck, of Tallahassee, Florida, said his game greatly improved in 2023 after a putting lesson he took with Mike Shannon at TPC Sawgrass.

“Same lesson I got when I was 14 years old,” Beck joked, “but it clicked pretty well and I was happy with that.”

Two players, Bev Hargraves of Little Rock, Arkansas, and Peter Van Ingen of Palm Beach, Florida, are tied for first in the Legends division after opening rounds of 2-over 74. It’s a tight race in that division, with Jeffrey Knox of Jupiter, Florida, and Miles Cumberland of Dublin, Ohio, tied for third at 3 over.

Three players share the lead at 4 over in the Super Legends division: Bill Engel of St. Augustine, Florida, Jack Ramsey of Germantown, Tennessee, and John Osborne of Vero Beach, Florida.


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