Drake Stepter turned in a pretty good Saturday performance on July 25, shooting a two under par 69, but still found himself trailing Greg Beale by four strokes in the opening round of the Metropolis Country Club’s Men’s Open Invitational.

Beale fired a sizzling 65 to take the lead after Saturday’s play. Stepter was looking to reclaim his place on the top of the heap after losing a playoff to Tyler Gilliand last year. Stepter had won three straight Opens before Gilliand interrupted his string.

With the heat and humidity sometimes reaching almost unbearable levels and some very “juicy” rough to deal with, the 60 players trudged on into Sunday’s round. Stepter raced out to a terrific pace and fired a red-hot, eight under par 63 on Sunday to blitz the field. Beale slipped to a one over par 72 on Sunday to finish second. Joe Johnson and the father/son team of David and Eli Glass all carded identical 142s to fill out the Championship flight leaderboard. Play was flighted after Saturday’s round resulting in four flights in the Open division and three flights in the Senior (55-64 and 65 and older) divisions.

In the Open “A” Flight, J.R. Conkle eased by the “ole war horse” Steve Korte 143 to 145 to take first place honors. Nick Jones shot 147 and Carl Stewart came in at 148.

In the Open “B” Flight, Brett Vandermeulen finished four strokes ahead of Beau Cottom at 146 to 150 to take first there. Corey Jeffords finished strong with a 152 and Cody Martin shot 153.

In the Open “C” Flight, Ryan Schroeder shot 164, five strokes better than Grant Sturson and Lee Martin both at 169 and seven ahead of Tom Griffith at 171.

The Senior group [55-64] consisted of two flights with Bob McAlister leading the “A” Flight at 153. In second place was Mike Hogenkamp at 155. Dave Stroup and Dave Bunch tied at 156 and Randy Eskridge came in at 157.

The Senior “B” Flight was led by Larry Sparks at 161. Mike Woods shot 164 and Tim Reynolds shot 178.

And finally, the Super Seniors were led by Jerry “Jeritol” Throgmorton who fired a five under par 137 to take first place honors. Jim Gower was second with a 148 and Rick King and Don Sawyer both fired 154s to round things out. Once again MCC thanks Linwood Motors for their continued sponsorship of so many things including the Men’s Open Invitational.

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