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Kugler, Baker Hold Early Lead at 19th MGA Senior Open

ROSLYN HARBOR, N.Y. (August 31, 2015) – Humid, calm conditions have led to several under-par scores early in the 19th MGA Senior Open at Engineers Country Club, with reigning champion and amateur Adam Kugler of Alpine among the championship’s early leaders.

Kugler and Greg Baker of Rockaway River each carded 3-under 68s Monday morning to stand atop the early leaderboard. The 122-man field continues single-tee start times until 2:46 p.m.

Despite beginning with a bogey, Kugler bounced back quickly with a pair of birdies. He added another bogey on the par-4 sixth, but had birdies on Nos. 7, 13 and 17 en route to the 68. “I played well,” Kugler said. “I started off mediocre, but putted well. Then, on the back nine I began hitting the ball good. It was solid—I’m very happy with it.”

Aside from his putting, Kugler also credited his short-distance approach shots for his good scoring. “I hit a bunch of good wedge shots,” he continued. “That has not historically been the best part of my game—so, I was really happy to feel that way.”

Baker had six birdies on his way to 68. He birdied four holes in a five-hole stretch, Nos. 11-15, but did bogey both par-5s in his round.

Mark Mielke was 1-over—with two bogeys and a birdie—through 14 holes of play, but birdies on Nos. 15, 17 and 18 quickly turned his round into a 2-under 69.

Two-time champion Darrell Kestner of Deepdale (2003, ’05) opened the tournament with a 1-under 70, playing with Kugler and Mike Gilmore of Winged Foot, who recorded an even-par 71.

Bobby Heins of Old Oaks is another two-time champion still in the mix, also posting a round of even-par. Amateurs Jon Doppelt of Fresh Meadow and Greg Rohlf of Winged Foot also began the even with even-par rounds, as did Jim McGovern of White Beeches.

Several others in the field have made the turn with scores under-par. Continue to follow live 9 and 18-hole scoring updates on

Following Monday’s 18 holes of stroke play, a cut will be made to the low 40 scores and ties.

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