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Resorters: Familiar faces vying for a title in Men’s Masters

Men's Masters qualifying round recap.

JonEmpanger.jpg
Jon Empanger chips onto the green during the 2020 Resorters Tournament at the Alexandria Golf Club. Empanger, an 8-time champion between the Men's Executive and Men's Senior Division, will take the top seed into the Men's Masters Division after finishing as the division's medalist in qualifying with a 73. (Jared Rubado / Alexandria Echo Press)

The Men’s Masters Division had an 8-time Resorters champion finish atop the field during qualifying on Monday as Jon Empanger positioned himself well to make a run this week.

Empanger, who has won five Executive championships and three Senior titles during his Resorters career, is going for his first title in the Masters Division.

He shot a 1-over par 73 in qualifying to take the top seed into the match-play portion of the tournament on Wednesday. Dan Elton, the 2016, 2017 and 2020 winner in this division, is the second seed after winning the championship a year ago.

Empanger was steady throughout his round like he often is. He parred 13 holes and birdied the par-4 11th and par-5 14th holes.

Alexandria’s Norty Blanchard, twice a runner-up in this division over the last four years, is the third seed heading into match play after he shot a 3-over par 75 on Monday. His round was highlighted by a birdie on the par-3 7th hole.

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An 87 was the cut for the 16th and final spot in the championship flight. Joe LaFave and Darryl Johnson both shot that, but it was LaFave who grabbed the 16th seed in the field as he gets the first shot at top-seeded Empanger.

The Masters Division is filled with familiar faces in the championship flight. Tom Ryan, who was last year’s runner-up to Elton, is the fourth seed. Jim Arnold, Gene Seashore, Steve Tessmer, Ray Sauer, Jim Angermeyr, Randy Johnson, Roger Ledebuhr, Joe Klick, Mark Bongard, Thomas Vipond and Rob Davidson will round out the flight when the Masters tee off for their opening round of match play on Wednesday morning at 8:12 from the first tee box.

MASTERS DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT QUALIFIERS -- Jon Empanger, 73; Dan Elton, defending champion, second seed; Norty Blanchard, 75; Tom Ryan, 76; Jim Arnold, 79; Gene Seashore, 81; Steve Tessmer, 81; Ray Sauer, 82; Jim Angermeyr, 82; Randy Johnson, 83; Roger Ledebuhr, 83; Joe Klick, 83; Mark Bongard, 84; Thomas Vipond, 86; Rob Davidson, 86; Joe LaFave, 87
WEDNESDAY MASTERS DIVISION PAIRINGS - 1ST TEE
8:12 a.m. - Jon Empanger vs. Joe LaFave; Ray Sauer vs. Jim Angermeyr
8:21 - Tom Ryan vs. Mark Bongard; Jim Arnold vs. Joe Klick
8:30 - Dan Elton vs. Rob Davidson; Steve Tessmer vs. Randy Johnson
8:39 - Norty Blanchard vs. Thomas Vipond; Gene Seashore vs. Roger Ledebuhr
Related Topics: GOLF
Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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