NORMAL — Not everything went according to plan for twins Michael and Branden Mounce in the Bloomington-Normal Two-Man Best Position Tournament's qualifying round Friday.
“The only confrontation we had today was when I read a putt for him on 10,” said Michael Mounce.
Branden Mounce wasn't pleased after missing the putt. “It was the wrong read,” he said.
What the Mounces were more than happy to do was play long ball at Weibring Golf Club at Illinois State. That helped them to two eagles, but they didn't get their goal and settled for a 12-under-par 59 in the second of the three-day qualifier.
“I wanted that 2 seed (behind defending champions Tom Kearfott and Mike Cushing for matches), but it will work out,” said Branden Mounce.
The 57 fired Thursday by Mike Aslinger and Bryan Mounce (no relation) remains the target score heading into Saturday before pairings are determined for match play.
Three teams shot 60s for Friday's second-best scores — Mike Henry-David Marquardt, Mike Lampe-Darrin York and Jacob Anderson-Matt Wettersten.
Jim Modglin and Tom Bley seem intent on regaining their senior division title after being dethroned last year. Modglin and Bley played with Henry and Marquardt and matched their 60 to lead the senior division by four strokes over Tim Kerfoot and Greg Powell.
The Mounces, who are members of Bradley's golf team, are playing together for the first time in Two-Man. They both belted 300-yard plus drives with regularity around the Weibring layout and took full advantage of qualifying from the shorter white tees.
"It felt like we hit the ball good, but we didn't make as many putts as we usually do," said Michael Mounce, who won last month's Match Play. "But you're never going to make them all."
They started birdie-eagle-birdie and had Aslinger and Bryan Mounce's score in their radar. Michael Mounce drove the 310-yard No. 8 and Branden sank a 20-footer for eagle as they went to 7-under.
Three straight pars stalled the momentum before the brothers rattled off four more birdies from Nos. 12-15. They knew medalist chances were gone when they couldn't convert a 15-foot birdie putt on the 16th. Branden Mounce finished the day by making a 10-foot birdie at No. 18.
Branden Mounce usually is longer off the tee than his brother, but on Friday he begrudgingly ceded that family honor.
"He was hitting it good. I didn't hit a few of them well, but he was hitting them pretty good," said Branden. "He usually hits a fade and it goes a little shorter, but he had a little draw working and going pretty far."
Henry, who just turned 50 on July 2, won the Two-Man title with Sean McCaw in 2006 at Weibring Golf Club. With McCaw unavailable the last two years, Henry picked up Marquardt. They advanced to last year's quarterfinals before losing a shootout against Alan Bardwell and Jordan Carpenter.
“I've got a horse, an absolute thoroughbred,” said Henry, who beat Marquardt in the 2016 Match Play final. “But David is much more than off the tee. He's great everywhere else. He really rolled the ball well today and chipped it well.”
Henry and Marquardt made the turn at 5-under. They got two more birdies before Marquardt drove the 329-yard 14th and sank a 6-foot eagle putt. Birdies on Nos. 15 and 17 got them to 11-under.
“We really didn't make any putts outside of 5 or 6 feet,” said Marquardt. “The iron play and putting weren't as strong as they need to be with the competition that is out there.”
York and Lampe, who were semifinalists two years ago, birdied four straight holes on both sides. Their last birdie came when Lampe raced in a 30-footer on the par-3 17th.
“Mike putted great. He was fantastic on the greens,” said York.
First-time partners Anderson and Wettersten played in the day's final group and nearly put on a back-nine charge to catch the Mounces.
After making the turn at 4-under, Wettersten drove the 357-yard 10th green and made a 10-foot eagle putt.
"That gave us a lot of juice," he said.
When Anderson sank a birdie putt on the 11th, they were suddenly 7-under. Wettersten said they "were kind of kicking" themselves about not making birdie at the par-5 13th, but they ran off four straight birdies before a par on No. 18.
"I think we can play a little better, but we were hoping for double digits and got there," said Anderson.
Modglin and Bley came through with a birdie on No. 18 to equal Henry and Marquardt. It was the 11th birdie of the day for Modglin and Bley.
“Me, Tommy and Mike play together all the time. It's always good to play with David once a year," said Modglin. "It's fun playing with quality players. You usually come through.”