Defending Elks Invitational champion Chris Wilson trails leader Mike Cook by just one stroke going into today's second round of the tournament at Shawnee's Elks Golf Course.
Cook recorded a first-round 2-under 70 Saturday, with Wilson coming in tied with Shawnee native Ralph Shaw Jr. at 1-under 71. Greg Anderson and Chad Lawrence are tied for fourth at an even-par 72, and last year's runner-up, Ben Coffee, is sixth at a 1-over 73.
Wilson is a five-time champion of the Elks Invitational, winning his first title in 2001. He took back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012, and is looking for a three-peat.
Wilson, a Shawnee product, is the assistant men's golf coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Former champions Justin Ramer and Dax Clark are also in the 2013 field. Ramer forged a first-day score of 75, putting him in eighth place, while Clark recorded an 84 and is 19th out of the 22-member championship flight.
Others turning in scores of below 80 Saturday were Brant Gear at 74 and Tyler Hargus, Robby Komahcheet III and Jerod Niles all tied at 76. Sam Patton shot a 77, Ron Grinnell shot a 78 and Ernest Willis shot a 79.
Leading the B flight group after day one is Jake Nicely at 72. Mark Inman is second at 75, and David Hatkoff and James Aultman share a tie for third at 77.
Larry Johnston turned in a first-round 79 in B flight.
Zach Larman heads up C flight at 77, and Jody Childers and Terry Painter are tied for second at 79.
Notching a score of 82 to lead D flight was Bill Stubbs, and an eight-way tie for second at 84 includes Steve Blain, Charlie Stubbs, Dean McQuitty, Billy Lawrence, Jimmy Brock, Gene Streetman, Jeffrey Lawrence and Bobby Keenom.
E flight's leader after the first round is Leslie Morris at 82. Eric Hardison, Tim Tillery and Tommy Oliver are tied for second at 84.
Bo Starr and Darren Bingham are F flight's leaders with a 92 each, and James Palinkas is third at 94.
The 54-hole tournament continues Sunday with the second round, and the final 18 holes will be played Monday.
This is the 53rd Elks Invitational. There are 142 entrants. The course is a par-72 of just over 6,500 yards.
Ramer won the Elks Invitational in 2005, 2009 and 2010. Clark was the 2007 champ.