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Ken Basten chips toward the AGC No. 9 green on Friday afternoon in the final round of the Mid-Amateur Championship. Basten, the son of former AGC pro Tom Basten, finished tied for seventh in the amateur event. Echo Press Photo by Blaze Fugina

Alexandria hosts Mid-Amateur Championship

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Some of the state's top amateur golfers were in town last week as two Alexandria golf clubs hosted the Minnesota Golf Association's Mid-Amateur Championship.

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Golfers played three rounds in the event between the Geneva Golf Club and the Alexandria Golf Club. Players alternated playing 18-holes at the two clubs on Wednesday and Thursday to determine who made the cut. The final round was played Friday at the AGC.

Josh Blackman of the Mankato Golf Club won the event with a tap-in par on the first hole of a three-way playoff.

He finished with a 219 after three rounds, tied with David Steingart of the Edina Country Club and Sammy Schmitz of the Valleywood Golf Club.

There was a local flavor at the Mid-Amateur Championship, with AGC members Jerry Rose and Nick Paulsen playing in the event. Ken Basten, son of longtime AGC pro Tom Basten, was also a member of the field last week.

Rose finished the best among golfers with Alexandria ties, shooting a five-over-par 222 and tied for fifth after play was completed Friday. Basten finished tied for seventh with a six-under-par 223, and Paulsen finished in 51st place with a 237.

Rose said the course was in great shape for the final round Friday, and he enjoyed playing the tournament on a course he often plays.

"It was fantastic," Rose said. "It's always fun when you can play a golf course that you know well, and [AGC Superintendent Donnacha O'Connor] has the golf course absolutely in fantastic shape."

Rose said he does not often play in events like the Mid-Amateur Championship, but he made an exception because the tournament was held in Alexandria.

"I usually don't play in these events, although now that I'm retired and spend a little more time in Minnesota in the summer maybe I'll play in a few more," he said.

Rose shot a 76 on Wednesday, a 71 on Thursday and a 75 on Friday to finish with a 222. Despite finishing the tournament tied for fifth, Rose said he had better days on the course this summer.

"I played decent, not real well," Rose said. "I didn't hit it as well as I had been hitting it all summer."

Although Basten finished the tournament tied for seventh, he played in the final group on Friday and was in contention all day. But his hopes to finish on top were dashed when he shot a bogey on No. 14, a double-bogey on No. 15 and a bogey on 16. The three-hole slump pushed his score to five-over-par on the day.

"I was right in the hunt until 15," Basten said. "Then I struggled on 15 and 16."

Basten, who grew up in Alexandria, said it was nice to return to play in the area this week. He is now a member of the Wild Marsh Golf Club in Buffalo, Minnesota.

"It was nice being back," Basten said. "I came back for Resorters, too. So it was nice being back for this and it's always good to be around and be treated well."

MID-AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP TOP-10

T1 Josh Blackman* — 71-76-72 — 219

T1 Sammy Schmitz — 72-79-68 — 219

T1 David Steingart — 73-73-73 — 219

4 Pat Smith — 73-75-73 — 221

T5 Geoff Klein — 77-73-72 — 222

T5 Jerry Rose — 76-71-75 — 222

T7 JT Johnson — 76-77-70 — 223

T7 Ken Basten — 72-74-77 — 223

T9 Andy Jacobson — 75-76-73 — 224

T9 Joe McCormick — 73-76-75 — 224

*Denotes champion

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Blaze Fugina
Blaze Fugina is a sports reporter at the Echo Press. Before working in Alexandria, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. He previously worked as the community editor of the Mound Laker for more than a year. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.
(320) 763-1230
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