Resorters Golf Tournament: Eidsvold earns his long awaited title
Alexandria's Tom Eidsvold has been waiting a long time for this - 57 years to be exact - so it was only fitting that Saturday's Men's Masters Division title came in 21 holes.
Eidsvold remembers first playing in the tournament when he was 13 and sleeping in the golf course parking lot when he qualified. Finally at age 71, he got the job done with an epic final match win over Dick Lasch of Circle Pines.
"I took a long route to get here to finally win," he said during the awards ceremony. "But I knew I had to do it soon; there are no more divisions left to enter."
Eidsvold did it with a memorable final two days. He upended eight-time Resorters champion Ron Clayton in the semifinals on Friday. A day later, he locked up in a match that was never separated by more than two holes against another long-time Resorters contestant who was searching for his first title.
Eidsvold finally persevered over Lasch on the third playoff hole. Both players parred Nos. 1 and 2 before Lasch opened the door with a bogey on the third hole. Eidsvold took advantage with a par that ended the match.
Eidsvold needed a par win on 16 to get even with Lasch and eventually force the extra holes. Eidsvold trailed by two after Lasch birdied Nos. 10 and 11 after the two made the turn all square.
Eidsvold didn't panic after a rough start to the back. He came back with par wins at 13 and 14 to even things back up. The two veterans split par wins over the next two holes to set the stage for the three-hole playoff down the stretch.
Eidsvold's win over Clayton the day before was equally as impressive. Clayton doesn't give many holes away, which meant Eidsvold would have to go out and take Friday's match if he was going to come away with a win.
That's exactly what he did. Eidsvold shot 36 on the front and used a birdie win on No. 3 to take his first lead. He added to that with a par win on 5 before Clayton responded with a par win of his own on No. 6.
Eidsvold responded in a big way after that. His back-to-back pars on Nos. 7 and 8 gave him a three-hole lead as they went into the turn.
Clayton isn't one to go away quietly, though. He fought all the way back with two pars sandwiched around a birdie win on 12 that brought the match even.
Once again, Eidsvold had an answer when he parred the 14th to take the lead back. This time, he never let it go. Both players parred 15 and 16 before Eidsvold put the finishing touches on the win with a birdie on the par-3 17th.
Tom Eidsvold def. Dick Lasch, 21-holes