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Four defending champions toppled at Resorters Golf Tournament

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sports Alexandria, 56308
Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
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Champions fell by the wayside in the Resorters Golf Tournament at the Alexandria Golf Club Thursday.

The defending champions in the Men’s, Women’s, Senior Men’s and Masters’ divisions were all eliminated.

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All in all, it was a day of upsets, comebacks and stunning victories. Here’s a recap:

MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP

DECKO DEF. C. VANGSNESS, 3-2

In a word, Decko was unstoppable. The 29-year-old from Carlos was 7-under par for the day.

And he did this after a bogey on the first hole, which Casey Vangsness turned into a birdie win.

After that, Decko was nearly flawless but Vangsness still hung tough.

Decko won No. 2 with birdie but Vangsness regained the lead with a birdie on No. 4. Decko rallied with a par win on the next hole and an eagle on No. 6 to go 1-up.

After halving the next two holes with pars, Vangsness drew even with a birdie on No. 9.

Decko kicked his game up a notch after crossing the road. He carded two quick birdie wins, matched Vangsness’ birdie on No. 12 and then notched his fourth straight birdie on No. 13 to go 3-up.

Both golfers parred the next two holes and the well-played contest ended in fitting style with matching birdies on No. 16, which secured Decko’s 3-2 victory.

MEYER DEF. BAHE, 5-3

It just wasn’t Kyle Bahe’s day. The 25-year-old from Mankato ran into a buzzsaw in 18-year-old Grady Meyer of West Fargo.

Bahe took the first lead with a par win on No. 1 but Meyer birdied the next hole to draw even and won No. 5 with par to take a lead he’d never give up.

He padded his advantage with an eagle on No. 6 and added a birdie win on No. 9 to go 3-up at the turn.

Meyer kept the pressure on from there, winning Nos. 10 and 12 with par, birdie to go 5-up. Bahe’s par took No. 13 but it was his last hurrah. Meyer matched his bogey on the next hole and put the match away with a par on No. 15 to give him a 5-3 victory.

A. HEINEN DEF.

BENNETT, 3-2

Alec Heinen did not grab his first lead of the match until the eighth hole, but once he took an advantage he did not surrender it in a 3-2 victory over Matt Bennett.

Bennett jumped out of the gates to grab a 1-up lead on No. 1 after carding a birdie. This lead would last until No. 6, when Heinen shot a birdie to tie the match. Pars on Nos. 8 and 9 helped Heinen grab a 2-up lead heading into the back nine.

Heinen’s lead swelled to 3-up with a par on No. 11, but Bennett carded a birdie on No. 12 to reduce that advantage by one. Heinen parred No. 14 to regain a 3-up lead, and the two golfers traded Nos. 15 and 16 to end the match.

WILSON DEF. LERVICK, 2-1

In another white-knuckler of a match, Jaques Wilson of Victoria outlasted Collin Lervick of Chanhassen.

The momentum kept changing. Wilson won three holes on the front, Nos. 3, 6 and 9, while Lervick carded five big wins, three with birdies, on Nos. 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8.

With Wilson down by two at the turn, the match suddenly swung his way. He took No. 10 with par, dropped the next hole to Lervick’s par, but then strung together three straight wins with birdie, par, birdie to steal the lead.

Wilson put the match away with a win on No. 17 to claim a 2-1 victory.

SWEDBERG

DEF. ROSE, 3-2

Swedberg took advantage of rare Rose bogeys on the first two holes to go 2-up.

The three-time champ rallied with a par on No. 3 and matched Swedberg’s par on the next hole.

Swedberg moved back in front by two with a birdie on No. 5 only to drop the next hole to Rose’s birdie.

Swedberg’s par took No. 7 and he matched Rose’s pars on the next two holes to take a 2-up lead at the turn.

Swedberg didn’t provide many openings on the back nine. He won No. 10 with par, matched Rose’s par on the next hole and went 4-up with a birdie on the par-5 12th. Rose’s par only halved No. 13 but he won the next hole with par to pull within three.

That was as close as he’d get, however. Swedberg iced a 3-2 win by matching Rose’s pars on Nos. 15 and 16.

MONTPLAISIR DEF. HAFDAL, 3-2

It was a closely played match but Jacob Montplaisir of Gilbert, AZ never fell behind against John Hafdal of Prior Lake.

The first 10 holes felt like a ping-pong match. Montplaisir won Nos. 1, 3, 5, 6 and 9, highlighted by two birdies, but Hafdal won Nos. 2, 4, 7 and 8, sparked by birdie on No. 7.

Leading by one at the turn, Montplaisir took No. 10 with a birdie before the match finally settled down. The golfers swapped pars on the next five holes.

Montplaisir put the match away with a par win on No. 16 to seal a 3-2 victory.

MCCULLOCH DEF.

CONDER, 2-1

Shay Conder stayed within striking distance all match, but Austin McCulloch maintained a steady lead on his way to a 2-1 victory.

McCulloch took a 2-up lead in the front nine before Conder battled back to tie the match on the ninth hole. McCulloch parred No. 2 and eagled No. 6 to take a 2-up lead. Conder later birdied No. 7 and parred No. 9 to tie the match heading into the back nine.

Conder and McCulloch traded holes early through the back nine. But McCulloch would break through, grabbing a 2-up lead with pars on Nos. 14 and 15. Conder and McCulloch traded pars over the final two holes, ending the match.

N. HEINEN DEF

B. VANGSNESS, 1-UP

This match was the talk of the day, especially after the roar that went up on No. 18 when Nick Heinen drained a 30-foot putt from just off the green for a spectacular birdie.

The putt capped a crazy-good comeback by Heinen to upend the division’s 2012 and 2011 champion.

Vangsness appeared to have the upper hand in the beginning of the match. He won Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 6 with birdie, birdie, bogey, birdie. Heinen won three holes on the front, Nos. 2, 5 and 8, with two pars and a birdie, and trailed by one at the turn.

Vangsness went to 2-up with a birdie on No. 10. After that, the match tightened up with both golfers halving the next four holes.

Down by two with just four holes left, Heinen struck for a birdie win on No. 15, draining a 10-foot putt, and then tied the match with another birdie on the short 17th hole, making a 15-footer. This set up the dramatic match-winning putt on the final hole.

“My putter carried me through,” said Heinen after his big win.

Heinen, 18, is a former champion in the Junior Division, which he won in 2009 and 2011.

FRIDAY PAIRINGS

1ST TEE

1:24 p.m. – Jeremy Decko vs. Grady Meyer; A. Heinen vs. Wilson

1:36 p.m. – Swedberg vs. Montplaisir; McCulloch vs. N. Heinen

WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP

Osakis’ Alayna Eldred came into this year’s Resorters Tournament as a 14-year-old not really believing she could beat many of the top players in the Women’s Field.

Consider her confidence boosted. Eldred proved that she can play with anyone in the division after beating the defending champion in a 1-up match against Glenwood’s Sam Falk on Thursday afternoon.

“Honestly, I didn’t,” Eldred said when asked if she thought she could take down a player like Falk before the week started. “But I told myself I can do it. I’ve defied many odds before, so I knew that I had it in me to do it.”

Eldred will have a chance to keep defying the odds when she takes on another local standout in Alexandria’s Amanda Bigger today. They will meet in the semifinals when they tee off from No. 1 at 12:36 p.m. Joining them there in the other pairing is Glenwood sisters Brianna and Jeanna Janu.

Here’s a closer look at how they all got to the semifinals.

ELDRED DEF.

FALK, 1-UP

Eldred rallied from a three-hole deficit on the back nine in Wednesday’s win over Nancy Syverson, and she had to storm back again against Falk on Thursday.

Eldred got off to a slow start as four straight bogeys allowed Falk to take a 3-up lead after four holes. She got her first win on No. 5 with a par but still made the turn trailing by two.

She didn’t waste any time cutting into that. Eldred birdied No. 10 to move to within one and used a par win on 12 to even things up. Falk grabbed the lead again with a par on 13, and that’s where they stood going into the final two holes.

Eldred showed some poise on 17 as she applied the pressure on Falk by capturing a birdie win. That set up a dramatic final hole.

Both players needed to make a putt for par. Eldred admitted she thought they would end up in a playoff, but she made her par putt and Falk missed a short opportunity that sent Eldred on to the final four.

She said her driver was the key to her comeback. She was sporadic off the tee through the front, but started hitting fairways consistently after the turn.

“I feel awesome that I was able to play a lot better on the back nine,” Eldred said. “My front nine was really rough, and I came back on the back nine and saw she was getting a little frustrated. I’m just so happy that I was able to do this in my first year at this tournament.”

This is the first match-play tournament that Eldred has ever taken part in. She could have played in the Junior 13-15 Division, but she wanted to test herself against older players in the Women’s Division after tying for 12th at the Class AA state meet this past spring.

“My coach [Steve Tax], he says that experience is the best possible thing,” Eldred said. “I would have a better shot in the junior’s division, but I’m mainly here for experience and just to show that I can play good golf.”

Eldred knows she will have another challenge on her hands today. Bigger has been playing well throughout the tournament and beat a good player in Andrea Dwyer on Thursday afternoon.

Eldred will go in with some confidence, though, now knowing she can play with anyone in the field.

“I know I’m going to have tough competition,” she said. “I’m just going to go into it like I did today and anything’s possible.”

BIGGER DEF.

DWYER, 1-UP

Like Eldred, Bigger had to grind out a close match with Concordia-St. Paul golfer Andrea Dwyer on Thursday.

Neither player was able to separate themselves by more than one hole in this one. Bigger grabbed one final lead with a win on 15 and never gave it back as a bogey and two pars were enough to close the deal over the final three holes.

Bigger’s first lead came on No. 3 when she used a par win to grab some momentum. Dwyer seized that from her two holes later as a birdie win evened things up and another birdie win on 6 gave her a 1-up lead. That’s the lead Dwyer took to the back after a birdie win on 9 erased a Bigger win on No. 7.

Bigger was able to get it back with a par win on 11 before another par on 12 moved her to 1-up. Dwyer squared things up on 14, which led into Bigger’s win on 15 that proved to be the difference in the match.

B. JANU DEF.

ALDRICH, 2-1

Two-time champion Betsy Aldrich gave South Dakota State University golfer Brianna Janu a run for her money, but Janu just wouldn’t give her much room for error in a match that ended 2-1.

Aldrich kept it close all afternoon despite only being able to take one hole. The two halved 13 of the 17 holes they played, which allowed Janu to hold onto a 1-up lead at the turn.

She added to that right away on the back with a couple par wins on Nos. 10 and 11. That 3-up lead is where things stood until the 14 when Aldrich captured her only win. She couldn’t get any closer than that two-hole deficit as Janu and Aldrich halved the next three holes to end things a little early.

J. JANU DEF.

AMUNDSON, 4-3

A battle of two high school standouts from Minnewaska and Alexandria went to the Lakers’ Jenna Janu on Thursday as she took down Natalie Amundson in a 4-3 match.

Her next challenge? Having to play her older sister today for a spot in the finals. Janu made sure she would get to this point by running together a string of five straight wins to start the back on Thursday.

She trailed by one at the turn after Amundson used birdie wins on 2 and 5 to take an early lead. That disappeared quickly on the back nine as Janu got a few birdies of her own on Nos. 10 and 12 that were sandwiched around a par win on 11 and preceded a couple bogey wins on 13 and 14.

Janu then ended things as both players parred 15.

FRIDAY PAIRINGS

1ST TEE

12:36 P.M. – Eldred vs. Bigger; B. Janu vs. J. Janu

EXECUTIVE MEN’S

The Men’s Executive Division featured some division powers playing like that on Thursday and a couple other matches that came down to the wire as the field was cut to eight.

Tim Peterson, a 2011 champion, cruised his way into the quarterfinals with a 7-5 win. The Execs’ top seed fared almost as well as Andy Petersen of Albert Lea grabbed a 4-3 win to set up a matchup against Peterson today when they take to the first tee box at 1 p.m.

Joining them will be Michael Hanson, Jeff Johnson, Nick Paulsen, Mike Lueck, Dave Carothers and Dave Dilley.

Here’s a look at how each of them got here.

PETERSEN DEF.

GROSSMAN, 4-3

Petersen has backed up his medalist round in qualifying with some top-notch match play rounds on his way to the quarterfinals.

He won 5-4 in round one and added a 4-3 win over Brent Grossman of Carver on Thursday. Petersen shot even through the front and took a 2-up lead to the back after a birdie win on No. 9. He trailed by one after five, but a birdie win on 6 and a par win on 7 gave him a lead that he never relinquished.

That 2-up lead moved to 3-up on No. 13 before another win on 15 ended it with three to spare.

T. PETERSON DEF.

HAGEN, 7-5

Tim Peterson is playing like a guy who is determined to get back to the finals this year and finish the job.

Last year’s runner-up in the Executive Division won 6-5 on Wednesday and took it a step further with a 7-5 win on Thursday. It came against another perennially strong competitor in Al Hagen of Harrisburg, South Dakota, too.

Peterson never really gave Hagen a chance. He grabbed birdie wins on Nos. 1 and 2 to jump out early  and added two more birdie wins on 6 and 7 to move to 4-up. He made it 5-up by the turn after a par win on 9.

Hagen got his only hole of the match on No. 10 with a par of his own. Peterson immediately answered with wins by par, birdie, par on Nos. 11, 12 and 13 to end the match with five holes to spare.

HANSON DEF.

HEIMSNESS, 3-2

Michael Hanson of Glenwood came back from a two-hole deficit on Thursday to beat Woodbury’s Eric Heimsness in a 3-2 match.

Heimsness looked to have a little momentum on the front. He used a beautiful chip on No. 6 to set up an easy birdie putt that gave him his third straight hole and a 2-up lead. Hanson chipped away from there. He got a birdie win of his own on 8 before a par on 9 sent things to the back all square.

The two players halved the first two holes once they crossed the road, but Hanson broke the ice with a birdie win on 12. That was the start of three straight wins for him as pars on 13 and 14 allowed him to grab an advantage that he never gave back.

J. JOHNSON DEF.

LEWIS, 5-4

Jeff Johnson of Chaska never let Nick Lewis into the match on Thursday as he won 5-4 after a torrid front nine.

Johnson won the first three holes with pars and added another par win on 6 to move to 4-up. A birdie win on 8 and a par win on 9 made it a 6-up advantage heading to the back.

Lewis got his only two wins on 10 with a par and No. 11 with a birdie. It wasn’t enough as the two players halved the next two holes before another birdie by Johnson on 14 put the match away.

PAULSEN DEF.

WILLIAMS, 3-1

Michael Williams squandered a 3-up lead over the AGC back nine, allowing Nick Paulsen to steal a 3-1 victory.

Paulsen won the first two holes of the match on pars, but Williams came storming back to take a 3-up lead heading into the turn. Williams’ victories came as he carded pars on Nos. 3, 5, and 8 and birdies on Nos. 4 and 6.

Paulsen took the next five holes to grab a commanding 2-up lead. He carded birdies on Nos. 11, 13 and 14 and pars on Nos. 10 and 12 in the process.

Paulsen held the lead for three more holes before he finally put the finishing touches on the match with a birdie on No. 17.

LUECK DEF.

JOHNSON, 1-UP

Mike Lueck won two holes when it mattered most as he finished a see-saw battle with a 1-up victory over Chad Johnson.

Lueck and Johnson traded leads throughout the match, and they needed all 18 holes to decide a winner. Lueck birdied No. 17 to even up the match heading into the final hole where a par sealed the victory.

Lueck and Johnson both held small leads through the first four holes, and Lueck left the front nine with a 1-up advantage thanks to a birdie on No. 9.

The lead grew to 2-up at the start of the back-nine as Lueck parred No. 12.

Johnson evened the match thanks to a par on No. 13 and a birdie on No 15. A birdie on the very next hole then gave Johnson his first lead of the back-nine.

Trailing by one with two holes left, Lueck went to work to stay alive in the championship flight.

 

CAROTHERS DEF.

 T. JOHNSON, 6-5

Dave Carothers won nine of the 13 holes in his match versus Thomas Johnson to grab a quick 6-5 victory.

Johnson started out the match with an early 1-up lead thanks to a birdie on No. 1.

The lead would not last long, however, as Carothers grabbed four straight holes for a 3-up lead. Carothers parred Nos. 2, 3 and 5 and bogeyed No. 4 to grab the advantage.

Johnson birdied No. 6 to pull within two holes, but Carothers carded a par on No. 7 and a birdie on No. 9 to take a solid 4-up lead heading onto the back nine.

Johnson won No. 10 to pull within 3-up, but Carothers took over from there by winning the final three holes. He birdied Nos. 11 and 13 and bogeyed No. 12 for a 6-5 victory.

DILLEY DEF.

BIGGER, 19 HOLES

Dave Dilley made the most of an extra playoff hole by sinking a par putt on No. 1 for a 1-up victory over Jeff Bigger.

Dilley held the lead nearly the entire way in the match before losing it on the final three holes. Both players said they putted well, which did not give them much separation in the match.

After finishing the back nine with a 1-up lead, Dilly’s advantage swelled to 3-up on No. 13. But Bigger was not finished. He won three straight holes to square the match on No. 16. Dilley took No. 17 to claim another lead, but Bigger responded by winning 18 and forcing a playoff.

On No. 1, Bigger’s drive found trouble behind some pine trees while Dilley’s ball was in better shape. He capped the match by chipping onto the green and sinking a par putt to stay alive in the Executive Men’s Division.

FRIDAY PAIRINGS

1ST TEE

1 P.M. – A. Petersen vs. T. Peterson; Hanson vs. JT Johnson

1:12 – Paulsen vs. Lueck; Carothers vs. Dilley

SENIOR MEN’S

Defending champion Steve Herzog lost an upset match to J.T. Johnson in a crazy day of Resorters Senior’s Division quarterfinals play on Thursday.

Herzog fell in a razor-thin 1-up match to Johnson as the players traded the lead many times over 18 holes.

Johnson’s victory solidified his spot in the semifinals, as did Jeff Pederson, Steve Gergen and Jim Arnold. Gergen defeated perennial power Jon Empanger in the Senior’s Division match of the day that needed four additional playoff holes to decide the champion.

The Senior’s Division semifinalists will tee off of AGC No. 1 at 12:24 p.m. to decide who will be playing for the championship on Saturday.

JOHNSON DEF.

HERZOG, 1-UP

Herzog, a five-time Resorters’ champion, fell in a stunning 18-hole upset victory for Woodbury’s Johnson.

Herzog started out the match strong as he carded a birdie on No. 2. The lead was short-lived, however, as Johnson parred No. 3 to square the match.

Herzog carded an eagle on No. 6 to take another 1-up lead, but a par on No. 8 for Johnson tied the match heading into the back nine.

Johnson built the largest lead of the match with a birdie on No. 11 and a par on No. 13 to jump ahead 2-up. Herzog carded a par on No. 15 to cut Johnson’s lead to 1-up, but he was unable to climb any closer. The golfers both shot pars on the final three holes to give Johnson a 1-up victory.

PEDERSON DEF.

NOVOTNY, 2-1

Pederson roared out to a 4-up lead after four holes and held on through the back nine to take a 2-1 victory over Larry Novotny.

Pederson grabbed his early lead thanks to a birdie on No. 2, pars on Nos. 1 and 4 and a bogey on No. 3.

Novotny cut into the lead a bit on the front nine with pars on Nos. 5 and 9. Pederson held a 3-up lead after nine holes thanks to a par on No. 8.

A 4-up advantage was recreated for Pederson thanks to a birdie on No. 10. He never gave back the lead the rest of the match, with Novotny only winning Nos. 11 and 15 to cut the lead to 2-up. The match ended on No. 17 as both players carded pars.

ARNOLD DEF.

REDMAN, 1-UP

Arnold lost an early 4-up lead to Mark Redman, but he ended up winning the match anyways thanks to a clutch par on No. 17 that paved the way for a 1-up Arnold victory.

Arnold grabbed an early 3-hole lead by carding a birdie on No. 1, a par on No. 2 and a bogey on No. 3. After Redman won his first hole of the day on No. 4, both golfers traded birdies on Nos. 6 and 7 to give Arnold a 2-up lead heading into the second half of the match.

Birdies on Nos. 10 and 12 gave Arnold his largest lead of the match at 4-up, but Redman was not finished. He won four straight holes starting on No. 13 to square the match. A bogey on No. 13 and three straight pars on Nos. 14, 15 and 16 gave Redman new life in the match.

But Arnold had the last laugh, taking the lead at 1-up thanks to a par on No. 17. He wrapped up the victory as both players parred the final hole.

Arnold hasn’t won a Resorters title but he has been to the finals twice, where he was defeated by Resorters’ legends Connie Freeman and Steve Herzog.

He’s playing excellent golf in the tourney and had the rare distinction of shooting his age, a 68, during qualifying. “I’ve had as much fun as I’ve ever had playing golf this week,” he said.

GERGEN DEF.

EMPANGER, 1-UP

22 HOLES

Gergen, a native of West St. Paul, survived a 22-hole battle against a multi-championship Resorters title owner in Empanger.

After Empanger grabbed an early lead with a par on No. 3, Gergen responded by carding birdies on Nos. 5, 6 and a par on No. 8 to grab a 2-up lead after eight holes. The lead dwindled to 1-up as Empanger birdied No. 9.

Empanger grabbed another lead over the first two holes of the back-nine as he shot birdies on Nos. 10 and 11.

A birdie for Gergen on No. 12 retied the match, ensuring a showdown at the end of the match. Empanger struck first, grabbing a 1-up lead on a No. 17 birdie with only one hole left. But Gergen picked up a clutch par to tie, forcing a playoff.

Both golfers showed their competitiveness on the first three extra holes, shooting nothing but pars.

Gergen finally put an end to it with a par win on No. 4.

“It was grueling,” he said after the big win. “It came down to who would outlast the other.”

Gergen had a strategy playing against someone as formidable as Empanger: “I concentrated on making a lot of pars,” he said, “and I tried to stay within one hole of him. He doesn’t make many mistakes.”

This is Gergen’s second appearance in the Resorters. He reached this point in the competition last year before he was eliminated. Today, he’ll take on Arnold, whom he defeated last year.

FRIDAY PAIRINGS

1ST TEE

12:24 p.m. – J.T. Johnson vs. Jeff Pederson; Jim Arnold vs. Steve Gergen

MASTERS’ DIVISION

The top seed and two-time defending champion Tom Eidsvold will no longer have the opportunity to add to his title collection this year as George Cliff knocked him off in a 6-5 victory Thursday afternoon.

Second-seeded Larry Petersen and third-seeded Dave Harris both advanced to the semifinals with victories, and Ron Clayton defeated Dick Lasch for the fourth spot in the semifinals.

The two finalists in the Masters’ Division will be decided with two matches on Friday. Cliff will play Clayton and Petersen will take on Harris. The foursome will tee off at 12:12 p.m. on Friday from the AGC first hole.

CLIFF DEF.

EIDSVOLD, 6-5

Cliff, a resident of Mankato, rode an early lead to knock off Eidsvold with a strong showing in a 6-5 victory.

After the two golfers tied through the first two holes, Cliff carded a par on No.3, a bogey on No. 4 and a birdie on No. 6 to take an early 3-up lead in the match.

Cliff added another hole with a bogey on No. 9 to grab a 4-up lead, and the score remained as the two golfers made the turn.

The lead continued to grow for Cliff as he carded a par on No. 10 and a bogey on No. 11 for a 6-up advantage.

The two golfers halved the final two holes to give Cliff a key Masters’ Division victory.

CLAYTON DEF.

LASCH, 5-3

Clayton jumped out to a 3-up lead on the front nine and never looked back in a 5-3 victory over Lasch.

Clayton took the lead on the very first hole of the match, carding a birdie for a 1-up lead. He parred No. 2 to take a 2-up lead, but Lasch quickly reduced the advantage by one with a par on No. 4.

But Clayton rebounded to par No. 6 and birdie No. 9 to take a 3-up lead as the two golfers headed to the back-nine.

 Lasch cut into the lead by one with a par on No. 10, but Clayton returned the favor with pars on Nos. 11 and 12 to jump out to a 4-up lead.

The two golfers parred out the final two holes as Clayton defeated Lasch in the quarterfinals match.

PETERSEN DEF.

MADSEN, WITHDREW

Larry Petersen only held a 1-up lead heading into No. 12 when Skip Madsen withdrew from the match, giving Petersen the victory.

Petersen jumped out to an early 2-up lead with pars on the first two holes. Madsen and Petersen traded holes by carding pars on Nos. 4 and 5 before Madsen birdied the par-five sixth hole to pull within one.

Petersen increased his lead to 2-up with a par on No. 8, and that score remained as the golfers headed to the back-nine.

After both golfers tied No. 10, Madsen parred the 11th hole to cut Petersen’s lead down to one. But Madsen withdrew from the match after the hole, declaring Petersen the winner.

HARRIS DEF.

JOHNSON, 3-1

Dave Harris built a 4-up lead on the front nine but nearly lost it on the back before finishing strong for a 3-1 victory over Randy Johnson.

Harris started out the match by winning four of the first five holes. A birdie on No. 1, pars on Nos. 3 and 4, and a bogey on No. 5 gave Harris the early 4-up lead.

Johnson birdied No. 6 to cut into the deficit, but Harris quickly rebounded to a 4-up lead with a par on No. 7.

Johnson parred the ninth hole to cut Harris’ lead down to 3-up halfway through the match.

Harris won No. 10 with a par to take a 4-up lead, but Johnson made a move over the next five holes. A birdie on No. 11 and pars on Nos. 13 and 15 cut Harris’ lead down to just 1-up with three left to play.

But Harris carded pars on Nos. 16 and 17 to take a 3-up lead with only one left to play, giving him the match.

FRIDAY PAIRINGS

FIRST TEE

12:12 p.m. – George Cliff vs. Ron Clayton; Larry Petersen vs.  Dave Harris

JUNIOR’S 10-12

Will the youngest player in the field continue his run through the Junior 10-12 Division?

That’s what Alexandria’s Braeden Sladek is trying to do after qualifying with a 38 on Tuesday and following that with a 4-3 win in his opening match. The 9-year-old will run into Davis Johnson of Chaska today when they take to the 10th tee box at 9:36 a.m.

Johnson is the fourth seed and earned his spot in the semifinals with a 3-2 win over Sean Lehman. On the bottom half of the bracket is last year’s runner-up in Gabe McKeown of Lenexa, Kansas.

He’ll join Alexandria’s Grant Rebrovich on the tee as the top four seeds in the bracket all remain. Only two will be left standing as they battle for a spot in the finals today.

FRIDAY PAIRINGS

10TH TEE

9:36 A.M. – Sladek vs. Johnson; McKeown vs. Rebrovich

JUNIOR’S 13-15

The Junior 13-15 Division semifinalists had a day to think about their upcoming matches, but will be back on the first tee at noon today when they play for a spot in the finals.

Top-seeded Reece Sanders had dominated his way through the field with 7-6 and 8-6 victories in the first two rounds. He qualified with a 73 on Monday and hasn’t looked back since.

Trying to slow him down will be Jacob Zosel of Morris. Zosel had to persevere through two tight matches in the opening rounds after qualifying with a 77 on Monday.

On the bottom of the bracket are Ben Sigel of Deephaven and Miles McCarthy of Tonka Bay. Sigel has dealt with a little bit of both worlds through his first two matches, winning 7-6 on Wednesday and outlasting Nate Adams 2-1 a day later.

McCarthy will try to halt Sigel’s run after he earned a 5-3 win over Ashlyn Guggisberg on Wednesday.

FRIDAY PAIRINGS

1ST TEE

Noon – Sanders vs. Zosel; Sigel vs. McCarthy

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Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
(320) 763-1236
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