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Harris wins Masters' title for third Resorters championship

Alexandria’s Dave Harris tries to direct his putt during his Masters’ Division match against George Cliff on the No. 3 green at the Alexandria Golf Club on Saturday. (Al Edenloff/Echo Press)

It had been eight years since Alexandria’s Dave Harris won a Resorters title but patience paid off on Saturday as he became a three-time champion in the tournament by beating his buddy, George Cliff, for the Masters’ Division title.

Harris won the Senior Division in 1998 and 2006 and had to go through his long-time Resorters counterpart in Cliff to capture this year’s win. He did that in a 3-2 match that he never trailed in after grabbing an early lead and holding off a couple of charges by Cliff throughout the day.

“George and I have had so many matches over the years I can’t count them all,” Harris said. “He’s truly a close friend.”

Cliff was dealing with a muscle problem on his right side that gave him some trouble during the match, Harris said, but he knew Cliff was still a formidable opponent.

“My goal was to never let him get caught up,” said Harris. “So I was playing him as well as the golf course…He’s a great player and I knew I couldn’t let him get back in front.”

A key point in the match was No. 7 when Harris was able to get up and down out of the bunker for par to take the hole.

“That was big,” Harris said. “I stayed out front the rest of the way.”

This year’s win wasn’t as emotional as Harris’ title run in 2006, which came after the death of his son, John, but it was special too because of the long friendship he shared with Cliff.

“You hate to beat a friend but you don’t want to lose either. It’s hard to describe,” Harris said.

Harris used par wins on Nos. 2 and 3 to grab an early lead before Cliff got his first win with a par on 4. That 1-up lead for Harris is how things stood until Nos. 7 and 8 when Harris won both those holes to create some breathing room.

Cliff tried to rally. He used a par win on 9 to make the turn just two holes down, but that’s as close as he could get. Harris added another par win on 12 for what proved to be the final straw for Cliff’s chances. The two players halved the next four holes to end things after 16 and secure Harris’ third title.

His other wins in the tournament came against Gary Obele, Randy Johnson and Larry Peterson before matching up against Cliff.

(Al Edenloff contributed to this story)


Harris def. Cliff, 3-2

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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