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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Fans got what they wanted from the Men's Division in the quarterfinals on Friday. That's the way it should be this late in the tournament. There were big comebacks on the back nine and a battle between two champions in Jim Lehman and Nick Heinen that lived up to the billing and then some. In the end, it's Heinen, Geoff Klein, Andrew Lindberg and Lincoln Johnson that will square off from the first tee at 7:06 on Saturday morning to see who will play for a championship in the afternoon. Here's a closer look at how they got here. HEINEN DEF. LEHMAN, 2-1
Nick Heinen has long since earned the respect of the Resorters field. The Oklahoma State University product had two junior titles and two runner-up finishes in the Men's Division before taking home the men's title a year ago — all by the age of 20. Players know it will take a great round of their own to beat him, even for 2009 men's champ and a great amateur golfer himself in veteran Jim Lehman. That's who will get the next chance at Heinen when the men tee off from the first box at 1:24 p.m. Friday.
There will be no first meetings or forced small talk in the women's semifinals when they tee off from the first tee at 12:36 this afternoon. The final four players left standing know each other really well. Three are from Minnewaska in Alexis Guggisberg and the Janu sisters, Brianna and Jenna. The other knows plenty about them after crossing paths many times over a storied high school career in Detroit Lakes' Kate Smith.
The Junior 13-15 Division is ready to get going again after a day off from match play on Thursday. The division is down to the final four as 15-year-old Cecil Belisle looks to continue to live up to his billing as the number one seed. Belisle shot a 74 in qualifying and followed it up with a 7-6 win over Alexandria's Wyatt Cavers in the first round of match play. The Red Wing native then took care of Jack Dierks in equally as impressive fashion with a 5-4 win.
The Men's Division always features 32 tightly contested golfers, and that proved true again on Wednesday as 31st-seeded Andrew Lindberg knocked off second-seeded Ryan Gallagher for the first big upset in the division. Lindberg, from Coppell, Texas, did so in rather convincing fashion too with a 5-4 win. His reward is a match up with Nick Jarrett of Rochester. Here's a look at how all 16 players in the Men's Division got to this point. N. HEINEN DEF. LIND, 7-6
The top four seeds in the Women's Division lived up to their billing on Wednesday as Brianna Janu, Kate Smith, Ale Arellano and Jenna Janu all punched their ticket to Thursday's quarterfinals. Some matches were closer than others among those top four seeds. Here's a look at how all eight of the women left standing got to this point. B. JANU DEF. SYVERSON, 5-4 Glenwood Brianna Janu pulled away on the back nine against Alexandria's Nancy Syverson as the defending champ cruised to a 5-4 win.
A family is mourning the loss of a father, friend and husband, while the community around them lost one of its greatest leaders this past Saturday. Members of the Hoffman, Kensington, Elbow Lake, Wendell and Barrett area that make up the West Central Area school district were trying to cope with the death of a man whom many called the face of WCA after the Knights' dean of students and activities director Pat Anderson was killed in a utility vehicle crash near Kensington on July 30.
Graham Reiber of West Chester, Ohio, spent some time with his family fishing on Lake Darling over the Fourth of July where he pulled in some nice sunfish from the dock with the help of his father, Ryan.
Liz and Adam Shiek moved to the area two years ago and were able to get their young son, Dominic, out on the water for the first time fishing on July 17. It proved to be a memorable trip on Lake Miltona. The family was fishing with Lindy Rigs at about 2 p.m. when Adam latched into a walleye that will go on the wall. The fish was measured at Christopherson Bait in Alexandria at 30 inches with a 16.5-inch girth.
The unpredictability of match play struck in the Senior Division on Tuesday as top-seeded and defending champion AJ Kluver of Alexandria fell to 32nd seed Bob Falls of Scottsdale, Arizona. It took a playoff, but Falls got the job done with a par on the first extra hole to live to see the round of 16 in the championship flight. "AJ is one heck of a nice guy and a tremendous golfer," Falls said. "I feel lucky to have won because AJ had an off day, I think. I was fortunate; very fortunate."