Resorters Golf: Four-time Men's Executive division winner Troy Johnson is in the hunt for a fifth
Troy Johnson, Andrew Olson, Joe Sauer and Chad Hacker will compete Saturday for the Men's Executive title.
Is the four-time champion in the Men’s Executive Division, Troy Johnson, unstoppable?
The three competitors he’s knocked out so far might attest to that. He won those three matches, by fairly wide margins – 5-4, 4-3 and 8-7.
Saturday, Johnson will tangle with Andrew Olson in the semifinals for a chance to play in the finals for the fifth straight time.
In the other semifinal match, Joe Sauer takes on Chad Hacker.
The semifinal will start from the No. 1 tee at 7 a.m. and the winners will advance to the final that starts at 1 p.m. and will be part of the foursome that includes the two Men’s Division finalists.
Sauer def. Klein, 19 holes
18 holes just wasn’t enough to decide a winner between Joe Sauer, the No. 8 seed, and Geoff Klein, the No. 1 seed, as the two had to go to a playoff, which Sauer won.
Klein, the runner-up in the 2020 Resorters Tournament, forced the playoff with a par (4) on the 16th hole and a birdie on the par-3 17th.
Not much separated these two on Friday. The largest lead of the match was Sauer’s 2-up lead that he earned after an eagle on the par-5 12th and a birdie on the par-3 13th hole.
On the front nine, Klein led first with a win on hole No. 2. Sauer answered swiftly with a birdie to win hole No. 3 and a par to win hole No. 4.
Klein tied things once again by winning hole No. 5 with a par. And that’s where things stood until hole No. 12 and the ensuing finish.
Hacker def. Conder, 2-1
Chad Hacker, the No. 4 seed, made a late charge, winning three holes toward the end that proved too much for the No. 5 seed, Shay Conder, to overcome.
Hacker jumped out to the first lead, winning No. 2 with par. After halving the next two holes with bogey, par, Hacker tacked on a bogey win on the 5th hole to go 2-up. Conder rallied with two consecutive birdies on Nos. 6 and 7 to square the match. Both golfers parred the next two holes to keep the match even at the turn.
Hacker’s par on No. 11 put him out front again but Conder pulled off the same back-to-back birdie barrage, taking Nos. 11 and 12 to steal the lead. After settling for bogeys on No. 13, Hacker broke through in a big way – winning No. 14 with bogey, No. 15 with par and No. 16 with par to go 2-up. Pars on No. 17 ended the match in Hacker’s favor, 2-1.
Olson def. Hoops, 4-2
Andrew Olson, the 10th seed, pulled off an upset over the No. 2 seed, Bryan Hoops.
The match was as tight as they get. They halved the first eight holes, matching pars on Nos. 1, 2, settling for double-bogeys on No. 3, tying Nos. 3 and 4 with pars, making birdies on No. 6, and hitting two more matching pars on Nos. 7 and 8.
Olson finally ended the stalemate with a key birdie on the 9th hole. Hoops came right back with a par win on No. 10 to tie it, but Olson took the next two holes with par, birdie to go 2-up. After halving Nos. 13 and 14 with bogeys and pars, Olson sealed the deal with a birdie win on No. 15 and a par win on No. 16 to win it, 4-2.
Troy Johnson def. Nick Paulsen, 8-7
Troy Johnson of Maple Grove, who is vying for his fifth straight title in the division, steamrolled another opponent Friday, sealing his victory after just 11 holes.
His opponent, Nick Paulsen, the No. 3 seed, ran into some trouble on the course with three bogeys and two double-bogeys.
Johnson came out of the gates strong, winning the first five holes with a birdie followed by three pars and a bogey. Paulsen stopped the streak by matching Johnson’s birdie on No. 6 but couldn’t match Johnson’s birdie on the No. 7 Minnesota green and found himself down by six. Johnson made another birdie on No. 9 to go 7-up at the turn.
Johnson ended the match with a par win on No. 10 and a tie on No. 11 for an 8-7 victory. He played nearly flawless golf and was 2-under-par after 11 holes.
Although he’s the defending champion, Johnson decided to play a qualifying round and shot a 73, which put him as the No. 6 seed. Since then, he’s posted three fairly easy victories – a 5-4 win over Breton Stout, followed by a 4-3 win over Daniel Klein and his 8-7 blowout on Friday.
MEN'S EXECUTIVE SEMIFINAL AND CHAMPIONSHIP - 1st Tee
7 a.m. Joe Sauer vs. Chad Hacker; Andrew Olson vs. Troy Johnson
FINAL - 1 p.m. TBD