From the Echo Press archives, 1996: Lehman wins British Open

This week in history in Douglas County.

This week in 1996, 25 years ago: Tom Lehman’s hometown of Alexandria cheered as the professional golfer saluted the crowd after winning the 18th hole – and the 125th British Open golf championship – at the Royal Lytham St. Annes Golf Club in northwest England. Lehman battled back the final day challenges of Ernie Els, Fred Couples, Nick Faldo and Mark McCumber to win by two strokes. Included in his 13-under-par 271 stroke total was a course record setting 64 during the third round of the event.

1971, 50 years ago: Selective Service System Executive Secretary Lucille Bjorke, who manages the Douglas County Local Board, says the current Congressional impasse over extending the induction authority has created great uncertainty among area draft-age men. The local board has been instructed to continue to register and classify men and to order pre-induction physical examinations for those men who may be needed to fill draft calls in the coming months.

A brand new Apco service station with Apco car wash is now open. Located on old Highway 52 three blocks west of the Viking Statue, the station offers a free car wash and spray-wax with a fill of Apco quality gas. All oil company credit cards accepted.

1996, 25 years ago: For the first time ever, a Viking Ferry is available to take people to and from “Art in the Park” at City Park on the shores of Lake Agnes and Lake Henry in Alexandria. The “ferry” is actually a pontoon decorated with Viking shields and holds 10 persons per trip. People can park in a newly built Douglas Area Trails Association lot across the street from the Runestone Museum behind the Big Ole statue. The ferry will make the trip across Lake Agnes to City Park, $1 to ride the ferry each way.

The Wharf in Alexandria has organized a mud volleyball tournament. Entry fee is $75 per six person team and proceeds will go toward the Lakes Area Humane Society, which is currently raising money to build an animal shelter in Alexandria.


2011, 10 years ago: Friendly Faces, LLC is now open for business at 1300 Skyline Drive in Alexandria. Owners Shari Dybdahl and Lynn Swanson are excited to bring this senior companion service to Alexandria.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is working with contractors to resume construction projects throughout the state, including a resurfacing project on the I-94 bridge that spans County Rd 1 near Evansville.

Just for fun – 1996 - 25 years ago: Tom Lehman’s impressive win at the British Open even had an impact on area churches. At his home church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alexandria, several parishioners who were greeted by Father Al Ludwig asked how Lehman was doing. “They were talking about him,” Ludwig said. “Jim and Barb (Lehman’s parents) and Irene (his grandmother), are members here.” Contrary to some reports, even though the British Open was on at the same time as morning church services, it didn’t affect attendance, at least at St. Mary’s, according to Ludwig. “People are hooked on golf around here,” said the priest. “But not that much.”

Sports trivia 1971 – 50 years ago: Next week, the Alexandria Golf Club will celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the most famous and popular tournaments in Minnesota. This year’s tournament, according to tournament chairman Jim Perdue, has been full since May 20. This is the earliest date that the tourney has ever filled indicating the high popularity that it has. The Resorter’s draws some of the top amateurs from around the country. Besides Minnesota, those on the winners list are from Colorado, North Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, Arizona and Nevada.

Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.

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