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Tessmer duo takes home Lakes to Links at AGC

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Allen Tessmer (right) shares a laugh with AGC pro Kyle Lee on the final hole of the Lakes to Links Member-Guest tournament on Saturday. Allen and his father, John, took first place in the three-day tournamnt. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

John Tessmer has been a member of the Alexandria Golf Club for a long time. The first weekend after the fourth of July, he grabs a partner and plays in the Lakes to Links member-guest tournament.

While the title has eluded him over the last decade, he finally notched a win. This time, he had his son by his side.

The Lakes to Links tournament started with 72 teams on Thursday and dwindled down to the flight winners. One wildcard team with high points but did not win its flight joined the winners for the Saturday afternoon shootout. The remaining teams were eliminated hole-by-hole on the front nine leading to the finale in front of the AGC clubhouse. That's when John Tessmer punched in the winning putt next to his son, Allen.

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John (Right) and Allen Tessmer win the 2020 Lakes to Links Member-Guest golf tournament at the Alexandria Golf Club on Saturday afternoon. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

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"We just came out here to have fun," Allen said. "On the off chance that we made it to the shootout, more power to us. Who would've thought, right? It was such a fun weekend, and it was cool to do it with my dad."

The Tessmers beat out Mike and Sam Pokorney, another father-son duo. Both teams outlasted 12 other pairings throughout eight holes. On the final hole, the remaining two teams played the par-4 to win the tournament.

On Saturday afternoon, a thunderstorm rolled through Alexandria, halting the tournament for nearly three hours. For the remaining players in the field, it was a time to relax and catch up with some old friends.

"It's a really fun time out here," John said. "I've been coming out here for years, and the atmosphere is a blast for us. AGC does a really nice job of putting this together, especially this year, with everything going on. The rain tried to keep us away, but we got to finish, and we won, which is pretty cool."

While John has been around the block at the member-guest tournament, Allen was a first-timer. After they received their trophies for the win, Allen poked fun at his dad.

"I'm one-for-one in this tournament, so maybe I'm the good luck charm," Allen said with a laugh. "We've tried to make it work where I could make it out here with him in the past, but sometimes life gets in the way. There was always something on this weekend, whether it be a wedding, work or whatever. I'm happy he gave me an invite and that I could make it this time."

The member-guest tournament crowns a top duo every summer, but the event is about more than winning and losing.

"Golf is alive and well, and it's one of those things that you can do safely right now," AGC head pro Kyle Lee said. "It was a little bit about the competition, but it was more about getting out of the house and seeing people that they haven't seen in a while. We had a lot of father-son teams play in the member-guest. A lot of families came together."

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Good signs leading up to Resorters

With the COVID-19 pandemic hindering sports around the country since March, Lee wasn't always confident Alexandria would be able to host its yearly golf tournament to the fullest extent. After hosting a three-day tournament last weekend, Lee believes the week-long 2020 Resorters event will go off without a hitch.

"People can golf safely," Lee said. "I think that everybody coming out to play Resorters has played most of the summer. They know that they are here to play gold and do it safely. They'll come and play their round and move on.โ€

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Larry Novotny tees off on the sixth tee box during the 2020 Lakes to Links Member-Guest golf tournament at the Alexandria Golf Tournament on Saturday. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

AGC has taken necessary measures to ensure the safety of its golfers. They will have electronic scoring along with signage around the course. At the member-guest tournament last weekend, many carts had a protective shield between the two seats.

"The member-guest tournament was nice for us to see places that we can improve," Lee said. "We need to keep the flow of the tournament moving. We will make sure that the scorer's table is well-equipped, and we will have electronic scoring. I think people understand that they are there for the competition, and when they're done, they go back to their lake or go out into Alexandria. Resorters is good for this community, and we are excited."

2020 AGC LAKES TO LINKS MEMBER-GUEST TOURNAMENT RESULTS

1ST- John Tessmer/Allen Tessmer; 2ND- Mark Pokorney/Sam Pokorney; 3RD-4TH- Dennis Foley/Jim Huot, Larry Novotny/Dale Womeldorf; 5TH-6TH- Doug Dobmeier/Adam Dobmeier, Tim Leonard/James Leonard; 7TH-10TH- Jerry Rose/Mike Rose, CJ Haukom/Jeff Haukom, Dave Kvassger/Pat Winter, Matt Fischer/Nick Strautz; 11TH-14TH- Scott Marriott/Adam Marriott, David Kjos/Garry Kjos, Tom Wosepka/Luke Filkowski, Matt Stennes/Jon Hennen

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Jared Rubado is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus. He moved to the area in September of 2021 after covering sports for the Alexandria Echo Press for nearly three years. Jared graduated from the University of Augustana in 2018 with degrees in journalism and sports managment.
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