Resorters Golf Tournament: Men's Division, Thursday
It will be a brother-versus-brother shootout in the quarterfinals of the Resorters Men's Division today.
Ben Vangsness, who has won the division the last two years, will go up against his younger brother, Casey Vangsness, after they both survived grueling second round matches.
It's not exactly a case of sibling rivalry. Surprisingly, the two Alexandrians have rarely gone head-to-head on the golf course.
"We haven't played each other much," said Casey, 21. "He [Ben] doesn't play too much, period."
Ben, 25, has been a little busy of late. He's had his hands full with being the proud papa of a baby that was born just three weeks ago.
The brothers are both looking forward to this afternoon's duel.
"It'll be fun," Ben said. "A match between the two of us is something we've been looking forward to for a long time. We just never had the chance."
"It will be fun," Casey agreed. "And it will be close."
Of course, the "Ben and Casey Show" isn't the only thing on today.
Six other golfers also advanced to the Elite Eight. They include medalist Nick Heinen of Edmond, Oklahoma; former Alexandria Golf Club pro Jeremy Decko of Scottsdale, Arizona; Dylan Gergen of Mendota Heights; Austin McCulloch of Alexandria; Thomas Strandemo of Fargo; and Justin Doeden of Prior Lake.
They'll start teeing it up this afternoon at 1:24 from No. 1. In the meantime, here's a look back at yesterday's action:
B. VANGSNESS DEF.
Tyler Whiting, the division's 2008 champion, put up one heck of a fight against Ben Vangsness, taking him all the way to the 18th green.
The match was a white-knuckler from the get-go. Whiting took the first lead with a par on No. 2 but Vangsness drew even on the next hole with par.
After halving the next two holes, Whiting surged ahead again with a birdie on No. 6. Vangsness answered right back with a birdie of his own on the short 7th hole and then took his first lead with another birdie on No. 8.
Vangsness' par on No. 9 was good enough to take the hole and put him 2-up at the turn. Whiting made birdie on No. 10 to pull within one.
Neither golfer gave an inch on the next four holes, shooting nothing but pars. Whiting finally broke the streak with a par win on No. 15 to draw even.
As he did twice before in the match, Vangsness immediately rallied back after losing a hole. He won No. 16 with birdie to go 1-up.
After swapping pars on No. 17, Vangsness nailed down the victory with a two-putt birdie to halve the final hole.
C. VANGSNESS DEF.
MEYER IN 20 HOLES
In another razor-thin match, Casey Vangsness took 20 holes to stop Grady Meyer of West Fargo.
Vangsness built a 3-up lead at the turn, winning Nos. 2, 3, 4, 7 and 9 with a birdie and three pars while Meyer notched just two wins, a birdie on No. 1 and a par on No. 5.
The back nine belonged to Meyer. He won four holes, Nos. 10, 11, 14 and 15 with a par and three birdies to steal the lead.
Vangsness stopped the assault with a birdie on the 16th hole to tie it and pars from both golfers on the next two holes sent the match into overtime.
After swapping pars on No. 1, Vangsness went with his driver on No. 2 and put it about 40 yards from the cup. Meyer hit an iron to within 100 yards but the ball landed in a divot, which caused his next shot to roll all the way to the back of the green.
Vangsness, meanwhile, hit his approach to within four feet of the hole, setting up an easy birdie and a heart-pounding victory.
DECKO DEF. FARLEY, 3-2
Jeremy Decko of Scottsdale, Arizona used a streak of four wins on the front nine to take a match against Mack Farley of Lakeville.
Farley birdied the first hole to take an early 1-up lead in the match. After ties on the next three holes, Decko caught fire. He used pars on Nos. 5, 6 and 7, and a birdie on No. 8 to take a 3-up lead heading into the back nine.
Decko raised his lead to 4-up after shooting a par on No. 10. Farley tried to fight back late in the match, shooting a par on No. 13 and a bogey on No. 14 to cut his deficit by two holes.
But that was as close as it would get. Decko shot a par on No. 15 to take a 3-up lead, and both tied the next hole to end the match.
GERGEN DEF. WILSON, 3-1
In a match filled with momentum swings, Gergen's three big wins on the back nine proved too much for Jacques Wilson of Victoria to overcome.
Gergen won four holes on the front nine, Nos. 2, 3, 6 and 9 with birdie, par, birdie, birdie. Wilson, however, was on a roll of his own, notching birdie wins on Nos. 1, 5 and 8.
Gergen went to 2-up with a crucial birdie on No. 12 and added to his lead with another birdie on No. 14. Wilson rallied again, winning No. 15 with a birdie.
Gergen, however, held firm, matching Wilson's par on No. 16 and then closing out the match with a par win on the 17th green.
HEINEN DEF. KLEIN, 3-1
Heinen saved his best stuff for last.
After both golfers settled for par and two bogeys through the first three holes, Dan Klein of Phoenix, Arizona took the first lead with a par on No. 4.
Heinen bounced back with par wins on the next two holes but Klein's birdie on No. 7 squared the match.
Heinen took the lead for the second time with a par on No. 11 but Klein drew even with a par on No. 14.
That's when Heinen flipped a switch. He won the next three holes with birdie, par, birdie to end the match, 3-1.
Alexandria native Austin McCulloch steadily grew his lead until it turned into a victory over Jacob Montplaisir, 3-2.
After starting the match with ties on the first three holes, McCulloch struck first by winning Nos. 4 and 5 to give himself a 2-up lead.
McCulloch continued his scoring on the back nine with wins on Nos. 10 and 13 to take a 4-up lead. Montplaisir won No. 14, but that was it as the two players tied the final three holes to give McCulloch the win.
STRANDEMO DEF. FOWLER, 2-1
Thomas Strandemo of Fargo, North Dakota needed 17 holes to outlast Austin Fowler of Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
Fowler led early after birdying the first hole to jump out in front. Strandemo responded with a par on No. 3, and he built his own lead with a double bogey on No. 4.
But Fowler tied the match after shooting a birdie on No. 5. Strandemo took the lead for good in the match when he shot a par on No. 7. He added to his lead with a par on No. 16, and the match concluded when both golfers shot pars on No. 17.
DOEDEN DEF. KLEIN, 5-4
Prior Lake's Justin Doeden never trailed in his 5-4 victory yesterday against Geoff Klein of St. Peter.
Doeden took his first lead of the match with a birdie on No. 2. After Klein tied the match on No. 3, Doeden shot three straight pars on Nos. 5 through 7 to take a 3-up lead.
Klein was able to make a dent in the lead with a par on No. 9, but that wound up being the last hole he won on the day.
Doeden used birdies on Nos. 10, 12 and 13 to take a 5-up lead. Both players shot birdies on No. 14 to end the match.
MEN'S DIVISION PAIRINGS
FRIDAY, AUGUST 2
1:24 p.m. - Ben Vangsness vs. Casey Vangsness; Jeremy Decko vs. Dylan Gergen
1:36 p.m. - Nick Heinen vs. Austin McCulloch; Thomas Strandemo vs. Justin Doeden
SECOND ROUND RESULTS
Ben Vangsness def. Tyler Whiting, 1 up
Casey Vangsness def. Grady Meyer, 20 holes
Jeremy Decko def. Mack Farley, 3-2
Dylan Gergen def. Jacques Wilson, 3-1
Nick Heinen def. Dan Klein, 3-1
Austin McCulloch def. Jacob Montplaisir, 3-2
Thomas Strandemo def. Austin Fowler, 2-1
Justin Doeden def. Geoff Klein, 5-4