Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.
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Moorhead's Dan Elton almost missed the ball on the chance to defend his Resorters Masters Division title this summer. He was admittedly a little lazy when it came to getting in his application. "By the time I did, they said I was on a waiting list," Elton said. "I got a call from the pro just last week, and he said, 'You're in if you want it.' I said, 'Yeah, I want it.' " Now that he's here, he's thrilled to get the chance to defend his title.
The top flight in the men's regular division was dwindled down to just eight as top-seeded Parker Hill helped pace the field with a close win over 16th-seeded Ted LaFave. Hill needed 19 holes to do it, but he got the job done on the first playoff hole. That thwarted a late comeback attempt by LaFave after he rallied from two down after 16 holes. LaFave got par wins on Nos. 17 and 18, but that just set the stage for Hill in the playoff.
Most of the big hitters are alive and well in the men's championship bracket as three of the top four seeds advanced into the field of 16 after Wednesday's opening day. The biggest upset, if there is such a thing in match play, came when 29th seeded Dawson Wills of Chaska knocked off fourth seeded Alex Pries of Carver in a 2-1 final.
Jerry Wendlandt finds himself on the water quite often during the summer months doing compliance checks on area lakes. Wendlandt, the aquatic plant management specialist for the Glenwood DNR, issues permits to lakeshore owners. Aquatic plants are vital for keeping water clean and fish populations healthy, so it's Wendlandt's job to make sure people are abiding by the rules.
Andy Peterson might have found through Monday's qualifying round in the Men's Executive Division that his best recipe for success is a lack of sleep. Peterson was in Minneapolis at a concert the night before, but he was ready to go for a 7:36 a.m. tee time. He then went out and shot a 68, the only player to shoot under par, on his way to wrapping up the top seed in the Executive field.
Nick Heinen has proven over the last handful of years how dominant his game can be when he's playing well. The four-time Resorters champion (2009 and 2011 junior titles) and back-to-back men's division champ was at it again through qualifying. Heinen shot a 65 on Sunday, but Andrew Lindberg of Coppel, Texas was right there with him with a 66. No one could keep up on Tuesday as Heinen shot another 65 to finish the two-day qualifying at 130. Lindberg and Paul Stankey were a distant second with 138s.
Dan Elton is back as the defending champion in the masters division, and Norty Blanchard positioned himself as well as he could to make a run at Elton in match play after Monday's qualifying round. Blanchard had the low score on Monday among the field after shooting a 73. Masters players started on No. 10 and it didn't take Blanchard long to find his groove.
Betsy Aldrich won the women's executive division the last time this field was in the Resorters Tournament in 2007. Now she's aiming to add another one to her resume when she enters match play as the top seed on Wednesday. Aldrich shot a 78 on Monday to pace the field of eight golfers who qualified for championship flight in the executive division. The Minnetonka golfer will face off against Jennifer Anderson of Storden, who shot a 91 in qualifying to make the final cut.
Carson Herron went into the Junior 13-15 Division championship flight on Tuesday as the early favorite after qualifying as the top seed on Monday. Herron shot a 74 during qualifying to take the top spot. Dylan Nelko of Plymouth made the final cut and took on Herron in the opening round after shooting a 91 in qualifying. Just two players in the division finished in the 70s on Monday. Blaze Ackerland of Fargo joined Herron in that category by shooting a 77. Davis Johnson of Chaska wasn't far behind at 80, while Cole Harste, Gabriel McKeown and Ciara O'Connor all shot 82s.
Parker Hill of Maple Grove is sitting as the top seed in the first flight of the men's regular division after Sunday's qualifying round in the Resorters Tournament. Hill, 20, shot an even-par 72 to pace the field. Mitchell Rice and Charlie Stuck also shot 72s and sit as the second and third seed, respectively, in the match-play tournament that gets going on Wednesday morning for the men's regular division.