BLOOMINGTON — Two-time defending champion Mike Cushing and five-time winner Tom Kearfott cruised to first-round championship flight victories Monday in the Bloomington-Normal Match Play Tournament at Bloomington Country Club.
Cushing advanced with a 6 and 5 win over Brock Hirn, while Kearfott turned back Cody Surma, 4 and 3. Another former champ, 2016 winner Mike Henry, took an 8 and 6 victory over Nick Hodges.
Michael Mounce, who set a qualifying record with an 8-under-par 63 at Weibring Golf Club on Saturday, stopped Michael Moser, 3 and 2.
All 16 first-round matches were played to set up Tuesday's second round.
Joining Cushing and Kearfott as upper-bracket winners were Mike Shepard, Joe Bierbaum, David Marquardt, Jeff Wells, Brian Zimmerman and Alan Bardwell.
Shepard downed Scott Prosser, 2-up, and will meet Cushing next. Bierbaum slipped past Joe Rieger, 2 and 1, and Marquardt beat Adam Erickson by the same score.
Wells turned back Adam Baracani, 4 and 2, while Zimmerman ousted Jim Mounce, 2 and 1. Bardwell got past Brandon Duffy, 2 and 1.
Lower bracket winners included Henry, Michael and Branden Mounce, Tyler Weaver, Logan Stauffer, T.J. Barger, Grant Milling and Jordan Carpenter.
Branden Mounce, last year's runnerup, knocked out Shad Lindsey, 2 and 1, and meets Henry in the second round.
Weaver will play Michael Mounce after beating Matt Gumm, 1-up. Stauffer handled Taylor Peek, 6 and 4, while Bloomington High School sophomore Barger toppled Adam Havens, 3 and 2.
Milling, who shot 66 in qualifying, was an easy 7 and 6 winner over two-time champion Josh Wheeler. Carpenter eliminated five-time champion Brad Barker, 5 and 4.