Golf: Alexandria native Bryce Hanstad wins MGA Mid-Players' Championship over AGC's Ryan Conn
Alexandria native Bryce Hanstad wins MGA Mid-Players' Championship over AGC's Ryan Conn match play event in Lake Elmo.
LAKE ELMO - Alexandria native Bryce Hanstad got the early stages of the summer tournament season off to a good start on June 15 with a win at the Minnesota Golf Association Mid-Players’ Championship at Royal Golf Club in Lake Elmo.
“It’s been 15 years [since my MGA Amateur win], so this win feels really good,” Hanstad told the MGA’s Nick Hunter after the win. “My game has really come around in the last four or five years. I found some interest in the game again and put some more effort towards it, so it’s good to see some fruits of that labor.”
In the championship of the match-play event, Hanstad beat out Ryan Conn who plays out of the Alexandria Golf Club.
“There’s not much you can do when your playing partner is 5-under during their front nine,” Conn said in an interview with Hunter. “Bryce played great.”
Hanstad halved hole 14 with Conn to win the match-play finals 5 and 4. He persevered through a 21-hole win against Trent Peterson of the Fountain Valley Golf Club in the semifinals.
“I drove the ball well,” Hanstad said of his championship match. “I didn’t get in much trouble or give many holes away, so I didn’t put a ton of stress on myself. My ball-striking was definitely improved over where I felt a couple of weeks ago.”
Hanstad started his round with a birdie on holes 2, 6 and 7 and had a three-hole lead after hole No. 6. He rolled in a 10-footer on that sixth hole and then drained a bending 20-foot putt from the fringe on No. 7 to go up four and steal all the momentum.
“The putts just started falling,” Hanstad said. “Rolling in a birdie at [No. 2] and seeing something drop was helpful. I feel like I was under reading greens all week and tried to make an adjustment. Wish it hadn’t taken so long.”
After the front nine, Hanstad had a five-hole lead and never looked back from there.
To get to the finals, Hanstad defeated Joel Johnson (1 up) in round one, Jeff Stebbins (5 and 4) in round two, Will Hickey (Conceded) in round three, Dave Carothers (2 and 1), a prior MGA Amateur winner, in the quarterfinals and Trent Peterson (21 holes), a two-time MGA Mid-Players’ champion, in the semifinals.
Hanstad, a 2010 graduate from Colorado State, won the 2007 MGA Amateur Championship a few months before earning a win at the Resorters Tournament.
Conn’s runner-up finish on Tuesday is one of a few that he’s had in the past couple of years.
In 2021, Conn had second place finishes at the MPGA Four-Ball Championship as well as the MPGA State Public Links Championship. He also had a runner-up finish in 2021 at the MGA Players’ Championship.
Conn joined up with Alexandria’s Hunter Rebrovich to win the 2019 MGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship at The Classic at Madden’s Resort in Brainerd.