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Besting the pros

Nick Heinen watches his putt for birdie on the 16th green at the Alexandria Golf Club on Sunday evening. Heinen just missed the putt but tapped in for par and an 11-under 61 for his round during the Resorters Pro-Am. (Eric Morken/Echo Press)

The Resorters Pro-Am at the Alexandria Golf Club featured 29 pros, but it was an 18-year-old amateur that stole the show on Sunday.

Nick Heinen of Edmond, Oklahoma bested everyone in the field by shooting an 11-under 61 to tie a course record at AGC. It came from the blue tees, while fellow record holders Brett Swedberg, Jeremy Decko and Bryce Hanstad all shot their 61s from the black tees that play a little longer.

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“It’s always good to shoot 11 under,” Heinen said. “I didn’t finish like I wanted to, but it’s nothing to be mad about.”

Heinen started on 17 and got off to a torrid start. He birdied holes three through seven and added another one on nine. In between that was an eagle on number eight where he holed out on his approach shot from almost 50 yards away.

“I was just kind of like, ‘It’s one of those days where everything goes your way,’ ” Heinen said. “Through the first 10 holes I had like 11 putts, so everything was just going in.”

 Things continued to go that way until he ran into a couple bogeys on the back. He said he was most frustrated with a bogey on 13 where he felt like he hit a good shot but went with the wrong club. He ended up deep of the green and couldn’t get up and down from there.

Heinen bounced back by birdying the par-five 14th. With the way he started, he was hoping he would have a chance to finish in the 50s, but couldn’t be upset with a new personal best in a tournament format.

“I was glad I birdied the par five because I just wanted a shot to shoot 59,” Heinen said. “Me and my friends at our home course will play from the red tees just for fun a lot, and I have shot in the 50s there but not in a tournament or anything. My low there is like a 62, I think.”

Heinen has a couple Resorters titles to his name already. He won the Junior 13-15 Division in 2009 and 2011. He and his family have been visiting Alexandria his whole life with his uncle, Hiram Champlin, living on Lake L’Homme Dieu. He will play his college golf at Oklahoma State University starting in the fall.

Heinen has golfed in the Resorters for about six years now. He finished second in the Men’s Division last year after falling in the championship match to Alexandria’s Casey Vangsness. This year he’s back with every intention of winning.

“I wasn’t too happy about getting second so I’m going to try to get first this year,” Heinen said.

Sunday’s round was a good start to the week and something he hopes can help carry him through the tournament.

“It’s a good confidence boost,” Heinen said. “Hopefully I can build some momentum on it and shoot the same thing every single round.”

Heinen said it’s a tournament that he looks forward to every year. He was battling through some putting issues earlier this summer but found his stroke leading up to the pro-am on Sunday.

He came back to the pack a little bit during Tuesday’s qualifying round where he shot a 72. Heinen cemented his spot in the championship flight with that score and said on Sunday that he liked the way he was playing even before the pro-am.

“It was definitely getting there,” Heinen said. “A few weeks ago I was putting terrible, and I came here and the first few rounds I played I putted awful. Then the next day I just came out and made everything and it’s just kind of stayed. I’ve been putting really good.”

Heinen hopes it stays that way the whole week as he prepares to take on the rest of a talented field in the Men’s Division.


Chris Borgen bested the field of pros by a wide margin on Sunday as he shot a 64 to win the Resorters Pro-Am.

Borgen, who is a golf instructor in the Twin Cities area, bested his nearest pro competitor by four strokes as Luke Benoit shot a 68. Eric Chiles was the only other player in the 60s with a 69.

Ron Rebrovich, the head professional at AGC, shot a 74. Lisa Grimes shot a 76, while Alexandria native and Geneva head pro Grant Hanson shot an 82.


PRO RESULTS – Chris Borgen – 64; Luke Benoit – 68; Adam Guili – 73; Tim Johnson – 73; Herbee Champlin – 72; Eric Toftner – 75; Bill Israelson – 73; Eric Chiles – 69; Grant Hanson – 82; Jack Wawro – 77; Lisa Grimes – 76; Ron Rebrovich – 74; Aaron McClay – 81; Jeff Sorenson – 70; Eddie Wynne – 74; Kris Kroetsch – 72; Brock Swanson – 70; Bruce Anderson – 81; Peter Krause – 81; Tom Kirkland – 73; Aaron Jacobson – 75; Scott McDonald – 70; Steve Fessler – 75; Greg McCullough – 72; Robert Cliff – 75; Mike Barge – 70; Nick Wimer – 81; Jeff Olson – 80; Ryan Conn – 75

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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