Resorters Golf Tournament: Down to the wire matches fuel Senior Men's play
The Senior Men’s Championship continues to yield surprises, nail-biter matches and an “anybody can win it” attitude.
Yesterday, Jeff Pederson – the guy who took down eight-time Resorters champion Jon Empanger on Wednesday – was knocked out of contention by former Alexandrian Greg Mattson.
Meanwhile, Steve Herzog, the 1992 Resorters Executive champion, survived another grueling battle, this one going 20 holes.
Others who advanced to the final four were Jim Arnold of Plymouth and Bob Falls of Edina.
Every match went at least 17 holes.
The quarterfinalists will tee it up today from the No. 1 tee at 12:24 p.m. Here’s a look back at yesterday’s action:
Here’s a key to winning match play: Never fall behind. Mattson, a 55-year-old dispatcher from Becker, followed that advice to the tee.
Playing against Pederson of Haymarket, Virginia, Mattson won four holes on the front nine, all pars on Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 6. He also limited Pederson to three wins, Nos. 2, 5 and 7, which were also all pars.
Pederson squared the match with a nifty birdie on No. 10, but Mattson won the very next hole with par to regain the lead. Pederson again knotted it up with a par win on No. 15, but Mattson made a clutch par on No. 17 to edge out front and matched Pederson’s par on the final hole to win, 1-up.
Herzog def. Ryan
in 20 holes
If you like close matches and comebacks, you had to love the Herzog/Tom Ryan shootout.
The front nine belonged to Ryan of Edina. He wrapped up three wins on Nos. 4, 6 and 7 with par, birdie, par and didn’t yield a hole to Alexandria’s Herzog.
Crossing the road seemed to rejuvenate Herzog. He won Nos. 10 and 12 with birdies to pull within one. After both golfers made par on the next two holes, Herzog won 15 with a bogey to pull even. Herzog then dropped in a birdie on No. 17 to take his first lead.
But this one wasn’t over yet. Ryan responded with a birdie on No. 18 to force extra holes. After swapping pars on No. 1, Herzog finally prevailed with a par win on No. 2.
Falls staged a dramatic comeback to steal the match away from Alexandria’s Larry Novotny, waiting until the final three holes to work his magic.
The first nine holes were tightly fought. Falls won Nos. 3, 5 and 9 with pars while Novotny won Nos. 6 and 8, also with pars to trail by one at the turn.
Novotny squared the match with a par on No. 10 only to fall behind Falls again on the next hole. The ping-ponging continued when Novotny won No. 12 with birdie.
Novotny took his first lead of the match on No. 14 with a birdie and then halved Falls’ par on the next hole. After that, it was all Falls. He won No. 16, 17 and 18 with pars to erase Novotny’s lead and claim a 2-up victory.
Slowly but surely, Arnold built a lead against Randy Westerham of Eden Prairie and then fended off a comeback to win, 2-1.
Arnold won five holes on the front, all pars except for a birdie on No. 6. Westerham, meanwhile, won No. 2 with birdie and No. 9 with par to trail by three at the turn.
Westerham played pretty solid on the back nine, winning No. 10 with birdie and No. 13 with par, but Arnold snuck in a birdie win on No. 12 and another birdie win on No. 14 to maintain his three-hole lead.
Westerham made par to take No. 16 to send the match to the 17th hole. They both made par, which ended the shootout.
Greg Mattson def. Jeff Pederson, 1-up
Steve Herzog def. Tom Ryan in 20 holes
Jim Arnold def. Randy Westerham, 2-1
Bob Falls def. Larry Novotny, 2-up
12:24 p.m. – Mattson vs. Herzog; Falls vs. Arnold