Swedberg wins Minnesota State Open
Alexandria's Brett Swedberg is known for collecting a lot of championships in his home town throughout his golf career.
Swedberg was a Class AA high school state champion in 1999, a Junior Division champion in the Resorters Tournament in 1997 and a Men's Division champion in 2004. All those were as an amateur. Now Swedberg can add a Minnesota State Open title to that list as a pro.
Swedberg rallied from six shots down going into the final round with a three-under par 67 on July 26. That resulted in a one-shot victory over Mike Barge and Jon Sauer.
Barge came into the final day without a bogie through the first 36 holes at Hastings Country Club. His game came undone in the final 18 with a bogey on No. 7 and double bogeys on Nos. 8 and 11.
Swedberg took advantage of the opportunity, birdying No. 16 to take a one-shot lead that he would not relinquish. He went on to par the last two holes to finish with a three-day score of 207.
Once he finished, the waiting game began. Barge, a 54-year-old teaching pro from Hazeltine National, had a chance to tie him for the lead, but his chip caught the edge of the hole and rolled past. He sunk the short par putt as he and Sauer shot a 54-hole score of 208.
It is the second straight year that Swedberg has taken home the biggest check of $10,000. He finished second at the Minnesota State Open last year but took home the top money prize because the winner, Yu Katayama, was an amateur player.
Swedberg made sure that he would also be taking the trophy with him this year. He finished the front nine with a score of 35. That still left him five shots off the lead when he made the turn.
That deficit began to shrink immediately on the 10th. It was there that Swedberg converted a 10-foot putt for a birdie on the 507-yard par four. He picked up three shots on one hole as Barge double bogeyed No. 8 at the same time to give Swedberg hope.
From there, he started to roll with a birdie at No. 13 before taking the lead for good with his birdie at No. 16. He also hit a 50-yard pitch shot on 15 that set up an up-and-down for a big par save.
The end result was a steady round of three-under par that lead to a thrilling come-from-behind win for the Alexandria native.
MINNESOTA STATE OPEN
ALEXANDRIA FINISHERS - Brett Swedberg - first place - 70, 70, 67 - 207; Bryce Hanstad - T-41st place - 74, 74, 73 - 221