Wilson wins longest Resorters' Men's final in 12 years
For the last three years, 20-year-old Jacques Wilson of Victoria has used the Resorters Golf Tournament as a tune-up for playing on the University of Kansas Jayhawks’ golf team.
This summer, he revved his game into a whole new gear, winning the Men’s Division championship over last year’s runner-up, Nick Heinen of Edmond, Oklahoma, 1-up.
The week-long tournament at the Alexandria Golf Course wrapped up Saturday with new champions determined in all seven divisions.
It was the first time in 12 years that the Men’s Division championship came down to the final hole in regulation.
After Wilson’s drive on No. 18 left him in the right rough, he delivered a monster approach shot, knocking it over a tree and onto the green.
Meanwhile, Heinen, who mounted a last-ditch comeback by winning Nos. 16 and 17 with birdies to tie the match, rolled his approach shot off the back of the green and couldn’t make the birdie or par putt coming back.
Wilson dropped in a three-footer for par to win his first-ever Resorters’ title.
Wilson made it into the finals with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Grady Meyer of West Fargo in Saturday morning’s semifinals while Heinen was a 1-up winner over Jacob Montplaisir of Gilbert, Arizona.
Against Heinen, Wilson burst out of the gate with quick birdie wins on the first two holes. Heinen stormed back by taking No. 3 with birdie and No. 4 with par.
Heinen jumped briefly into the lead with a par win on No. 5 but lost the next hole when his birdie putt lipped out.
Both golfers halved the next three holes with par, bogey, par, which left the match all square at the turn. Heinen had chances to take the lead but missed short putts on Nos. 8 and 9.
After matching pars on No. 10, Heinen took his second lead of the match on No. 11 by lofting a flop shot from the left of the green to within four feet, setting up a birdie. Wilson had some trouble with his drive, landing way right near the tee box of No. 17.
“Good Lord, we’re hitting it all over the map,” he told his caddy.
Wilson made a short pressure-tester birdie putt on No. 12 to deadlock the match and then moved into the lead on the next hole with par.
Both golfers hit dead-on approach shots on No. 14 and made birdie to halve the hole.
On No. 15, Wilson chipped to a gimme par while Heinen’s 30-foot birdie try ran past the cup and he missed the five-footer coming back. Wilson was now 2-up.
Heinen’s faltering putter finally worked some magic on the next two holes. He dropped in a nice 10-foot birdie on No. 16 followed by a crowd-cheering 30-foot birdie on the short 17th hole that tied the match.
After Heinen drained those two big putts, Wilson said he was bracing for Heinen to drop in another one on 18 but it went awry.
“It was a little nerve racking out there,” Wilson said of his victory. “But we had a lot of birdies.”
Wilson, a graduate of Minnetonka High School, is in his third year of playing for the Jayhawks. He said he’d return to the Resorters next summer to defend his title.
In the meantime, he could run into Heinen again soon because Heinen plays for Oklahoma State, a Big 12 Conference rival of the Jayhawks.