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Resorters Golf: Staples native shoots 7-under over two rounds in men's champ qualifying

Andrew Israelson of Staples was the product of some good play and admittedly some good luck on Tuesday morning. He'll take it. Israelson cruised to the low two-day score in the Men's Championship Division. He shot a 69 in his first round on Sunda...

Israelson
Andrew Israelson of Staples tees off of the 10th hole to get his second qualifying round started on Tuesday morning. Israelson shot 7-under par through the two qualifying rounds to take the top seed into match play that starts on Wednesday. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

Andrew Israelson of Staples was the product of some good play and admittedly some good luck on Tuesday morning.

He’ll take it. Israelson cruised to the low two-day score in the Men’s Championship Division.

He shot a 69 in his first round on Sunday, highlighted by eagles on the par-four second hole and the par-five sixth. Then on Tuesday, he went a stroke lower as his 68 left him with a two-day total of 137, good for 7-under par.

“I would say everything was pretty similar,” Israelson said. “I drove it pretty well. I wouldn’t say I was hitting a lot of fairways, but I just never was in any trouble. I had a couple fortunate kicks off of trees too, so that was nice. I got my good portion of luck out there.”

Israelson used that to post some good scores from start to finish in round two. He played bogey-free golf after starting his round on No. 10. He went par, par before birdying the par-five 12th. He made the turn at 1-under and added birdies at Nos. 1, 5 and 6.

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“I’ve been hitting the ball great this summer,” he said. “Some of the things I need to work on are just holing a few more putts. I’ve been getting it close, just haven’t been able to get it down. I did make some nice lengthy putts to end things for birdie and for par, so that was good.”

This is Israelson’s second year playing in the Resorters Tournament. His run ended in the quarterfinals in 2017. He’s hoping for an even longer run this summer as he opens up match play against Alexandria’s Lukas Bigger at 1:09 p.m. off the first tee on Wednesday. Bigger was the final player in the field of 32 as he shot 77, 75 for a 152.

“I think I hit the ball about the same every single round,” Israelson said of heading into match play. “I’m a pretty consistent ball striker. It’s just, in match play it’s about making putts, making birdies. If the putter is hot, I’m pretty confident.”

That’s an area where Israelson said he has struggled throughout the summer.

“I haven’t been hitting bad putts, they just haven’t been dropping,” he said. “I think these greens are nice, they’re friendly to me. I like the speed of them where you don’t have to hit putts to make them go in. You can kind of just start them on a line, so I feel pretty confident out here because the course is in such great condition.”

Israelson was one of eight players to finish under par during qualifying. Kyle Cox of Carrollton, TX and former division champion Jacques Wilson each shot 4 under.

Ben Sigel of Deephaven and Nate Adams of Maple Grove were 3 under, while Brian Choe of Coppell, TX and Maple Grove’s JJ Svac shot 2-under 142s. Lincoln Johnson of Chaska rounded out the players under par with a 143.

It’s a men’s championship field that features plenty of guys who can shoot low scores, despite some talented players who are not back from the last few years. Players like Israelson are hoping to take the reins and make themselves household names among fans of the field.  

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“I think there’s a lot of open positions to kind of fill for some of the guys,” Israelson said. “It’s maybe not as strong as the last years just because some of those bigger names aren’t playing, but I still think it’s a pretty strong field.”  

MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS - Andrew Israelson - 69, 68, 137; Kyle Cox - 68, 72, 140; Jacques Wilson - 68, 72 - 140; Ben Sigel - 74, 67 - 141; Nate Adams - 68, 73 - 141; Brian Choe - 73, 69 - 142; JJ Svac - 70, 72 - 142; Lincoln Johnson - 71, 72 - 143; Alex Pries - 70, 74 - 144; Nick Jarrett - 72, 73 - 145; Alec Heinen - 72, 73 - 145; Peter Wilson - 68, 77 - 145; Jim Lehman - 76, 70 - 146; Matt Bennett - 72, 74 - 146; Miles McCarthy - 71, 75 - 146; Dylan Hanson - 69, 77 - 146; Cole Hanson - 75, 72 - 147; Sam Jenson - 70, 77 - 147; Tony Vanyo - 76, 72 - 148; Jerry Rose - 76, 72 - 148; Cade Pederson - 73, 75 - 148; Charlie Stuck - 76, 73 - 149; Andrew Lindberg - 72, 77 - 149; Clay Kucera - 73, 76 - 149; Connor Riley - 73, 76 - 149; Cameron Meyer - 76, 74 - 150; Mitchell Rice - 72, 78 - 150; Jim Hoselton - 72, 78 - 150; Harrison Patzer - 78, 73 - 151; Cecil Belisle - 76, 75 - 151; Dawson Wills - 73, 78 - 151; Lukas Bigger - 77, 75 - 152 WEDNESDAY PAIRINGS - 1ST TEE1:09 p.m. - Andrew Israelson vs. Lukas Bigger; Dylan Hanson vs. Cole Hanson1:18 - Lincoln Johnson vs. Connor Riley; Alex Pries vs. Andrew Lindberg1:27 - Ben Sigel vs. Harrison Patzer; Jim Lehman vs. Jerry Rose1:36 - Nate Adams vs. Jim Hoselton; Peter Wilson vs. Cade Pederson1:45 - Kyle Cox vs. Dawson Wills; Miles McCarthy vs. Sam Jenson1:54 - JJ Svac vs. Cameron Meyer; Alec Heinen vs. Clay Kucera2:03 - Jacques Wilson vs. Cecil Belisle; Matt Bennett vs. Tony Vanyo2:12 - Brian Choe vs. Mitchell Rice; Nick Jarrett vs. Charlie Stuck

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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