Resorters Golf Tournament: Men's Division, Friday
Here's an update of the Men's Division Championship in the Resorters Golf Tournament being played at the Alexandria Golf Course after play concluded Friday.
It comes down to these four:
Casey Vangsness of Alexandria, who knocked off his brother and the defending champion in Friday's quarterfinals.
Jeremy Decko, a former pro at the Alexandria Golf Club, who is now living in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Nick Heinen of Edmond, Oklahoma, who is this year's medalist and the youngest competitor remaining at 17.
Justin Doeden, an 18-year-old student from Prior Lake.
One of them will be the new champion of the Resorters' Men's Division after Saturday's matches.
The semifinals will begin at 7:06 a.m. from the No. 1 tee and the winners will start battling it out at about 1 p.m., also from hole 1.
Here's a recap of yesterday's action:
C. VANGSNESS DEF.
B. VANGSNESS, 2-1
The sibling shootout in the Men's Division Championship did not disappoint.
Those watching the battle between the Vangsness brothers of Alexandria witnessed top-notch golf: 13 birdies (eight from Casey, five from Ben), four lead changes and a 17-hole thriller.
When it was all over, Casey, 21, bested his 25-year-old brother and defending champion, Ben, 2-1.
"No one was more than 1-up the whole match," said Casey. "I just got the lead back at the end and hung on. It was back and forth."
Ben took the first hole with par but Casey stole the lead with back-to-back birdies on the next two holes. Ben evened it up with a birdie win on No. 3 and jumped back into the lead with a par on No. 4. Casey rallied with two more birdie wins on the next two holes to go 1-up.
After swapping pars on No. 7, Ben closed out the front with two birdies to go out front again.
The brothers parred No. 10 and Casey deadlocked the match with a birdie on 11 and surged ahead with a birdie win on the long 12th hole.
They tied the next hole with pars and matched each other's birdie on No. 14. After settling for pars on 15 and 16, Ben, trailing by one, hit his drive on the par-3 17th right at the pin but it bounced long, leaving him with a tough chip. He ended up with a bogey, which gave Casey the win and marked his furthest foray into the championship division.
DECKO DEF. GERGEN, 2-1
This is about as close as they can come. Decko and his opponent, Dylan Gergen of Mendota Heights, halved 11 holes.
Decko had just enough of an edge on the other holes to come away with the win. He grabbed the first lead with a birdie on No. 2 but Gergen quickly answered with a birdie win on the next hole.
Decko went out front again with a par win on the par-3 No. 7 and padded his lead with a birdie on the next hole.
Pars on No. 9 by both golfers kept Decko 2-up. Decko added a key birdie on No. 11 to go 3-up. On the next three holes, Gergen could only match Decko's birdie, par, par but then drew to within two with a par win on No. 15.
Decko maintained his focus, however, and closed out the match by tying Gergen's pars on 16 and 17 to win, 2-1.
Heinen never trailed his match against Alexandria's Austin McCulloch.
He won No. 1, lost No. 5 but regained the lead with a win on No. 6 and went 2-up with a win on the par-3 7th.
Both golfers halved the next three holes before Heinen broke the stalemate with a win on No. 11. He notched another win on No. 13 to go 4-up.
From there, Heinen coasted, matching McCulloch stroke-for-stroke on Nos. 14 and 15 to post a 4-3 victory.
It proved to be the division's longest match of the afternoon, an 18-hole gut-churner that Doeden refused to lose by never falling behind.
Doeden won No. 1 with par but his opponent, Thomas Strandemo of Fargo, quickly erased with a birdie on the next hole.
Doeden won No. 3 with par but Strandemo rallied back with a par win on No. 4
After tying the next two holes with pars, Doeden surged ahead again with a par on No. 7 only to lose the lead to Strandemo's par on the next hole. Doeden escaped the front nine with the lead by taking No. 9 with a birdie.
The golfers traded pars and birdies on the next two holes before Doeden took his biggest lead of the day with a birdie on No. 12 to go 2-up.
Strandemo pulled off yet another comeback with a birdie on No. 15 and a birdie on No. 17 to tie the match.
Doeden finally ended it with a clutch birdie on No. 18 that gave him a 1-up victory.
MEN'S DIVISION PAIRINGS
SATURDAY, AUGUST 3
7:06 a.m. - Casey Vangsness vs. Jeremy Decko; Nick Heinen vs. Justin Doeden
1 p.m. (approximate) - winners from the semifinals play for championship
Casey Vangsness def. Ben Vangsness, 2-1
Jeremy Decko def. Dylan Gergen, 2-1
Nick Heinen def. Austin McCulloch, 4-3
Justin Doeden def. Thomas Strandemo, 1-up