Pine Grove to host UP senior tourney


IRON MOUNTAIN — Pine Grove Country Club hosts the 15th annual UP Senior Men’s Golf Championships.

The 36-hole medal play tournament takes place Monday and Tuesday.

Scott Saari of Ishpeming Wawonowin returns to defend his title. Saari shot rounds of 71 and 73 last year at Marquette Golf Club’s Heritage course.

Other former senior champions in the field are Larry Bratonia of Gladstone (2017) and Jim Wagner of Marinette (2015, 2016). Wagner navigated challenging pin placements in 2016 to win the title at Norway’s Oak Crest Golf Course.

Dickinson County has yet to produce a UP senior men’s champion. Local contenders this year include Tom LaVigne, believed to be the only person to win Pine Grove’s senior and men’s title in the same year.

LaVigne (sixth) along with other Senior participants Mike Solda of Norway Oak Crest (eighth) and Steve Schmidt (seventh) of Menominee Riverside reached championship flight of the 2018 UPGA men’s tournament at Oak Crest.

Pine Grove’s Randy Ellis, Dale Ward, Paul Bujold, Jeff Jayne and Marc Mogan could also challenge for UP senior honors.

While last year’s tournament drew 88 golfers, this year’s event has a registration list of 135. Tournament opens at 8:04 a.m. with the foursome of Stu Studebaker, Solda, Bill Menza and Tim Strasser.