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Men's Division: Cool, calm Constable beats heat, defending champ to win Resorters

Echo Press photo by Al Edenloff Don Constable of Deephaven upended defending Men's Division champion Jim Lehman Jr. 6-4 in Saturday's championship match.

Donald Constable of Deephaven played near-perfect golf at the Alexandria Golf Club Saturday afternoon to win his first-ever Resorters championship.

The high heat and humidity didn't wilt his game a bit.

The 21-year-old senior at the University of Minnesota knocked off a tough defending champion, former Alexandrian Jim Lehman Jr. of Plymouth, in the final match with a crisp 6-4 victory.

"It was a lot of fun," said Constable on getting his first Resorters trophy after mowing through four opponents, Collin Lervick of Chanhassen (3-2), Derrick Whiting of Littleton, Colorado (4-3), Dominic Todora of Woodbury (5-4) and then Lehman.

"I knew Jim would be a formidable opponent so I had to play well," Constable said.

And that he did - notching six birdies and an eagle in the final match to finish 7-under par after 14 holes.

Lehman, who advanced into the finals with a 5-4 win over former Alexandrian Jack Dressen of Edina, didn't play all that badly - he muffed only one hole, a bogey on No. 5 - but he just couldn't gain any ground.

"I was even par for the day but I didn't hit many great shots," Lehman said. "I got beat by arguably the best player in Minnesota right now."

Constable finished second in the Minnesota State Amateur Tournament last month, won the 2010 North and South Amateur Championship and missed qualifying for this year's U.S. Open at Pebble Beach by just one stroke.

Despite the loss, Lehman said he was "very pleased" with his week. He noted that he's advanced to the final match of a major match play tournament for eight years in a row now - six at the Northland Invitational in Duluth and two at the Resorters - and is 4-4 at winning it all.

Lehman said that barring a scheduling conflict, he plans to be back at the Resorters next summer.

As for Constable, he plans to play at the U.S. Amateur in Washington in a couple of weeks and he plans to return to defend his Resorters title next summer - if he hasn't turned pro by then.

The Constable-Lehman match was very close at the beginning. Both golfers parred the first two holes before Constable drew first blood with a birdie win on No. 3.

Lehman tied it on the next hole with a nice birdie putt but Constable moved ahead on No. 5 when Lehman missed a short but tricky par putt.

Constable knocked a long, breaking eagle putt on No. 6 to within about four feet of the cup and then drained the birdie to go 2-up.

Lehman's drive on No. 7 hit a tree and bounced near a bunker but he was able to get up and down for par to halve the hole.

Both golfers were on the green in two on No. 8 but Constable's was close enough for a gimme birdie while Lehman ended up missing a tough pin-high putt to fall behind by three.

Lehman took No. 9 with par when Constable missed a 12-footer, putting the defending champ down by two at the turn.

Any hopes of a Lehman comeback melted away when Constable struck for a pair of birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 and rolled in a 10-foot downhill eagle putt on No. 12 to go 5-up. Earlier that morning, Constable had eagled the same hole.

Lehman prolonged the match by tying Constable's par on No. 13 but after his birdie putt on No. 14 just barely missed the mark, he conceded the hole and the match to Constable.

At the awards ceremony, Constable thanked AGC Pro Ron Rebrovich and the grounds crew for running a good tournament. He also credited his caddie, Jack Paul, a friend from Minnetonka High School who he called the "California Kid."