Linnerooth victory continues family tradition at Pine to Palm
DETROIT LAKES — Scott Linnerooth led the entirety of the front nine of the Seniors championship match against Rick Johnson and held on to clinch on the 18th green 1-up for his second Pine to Palm title.
He last won in 2012 as co-medalist over Spencer Clark. The victory also keeps a Linnerooth family tradition going.
“This one was for dad,” Linnerooth said.
Scott’s father Jim was the Seniors runner-up in 1992 to three-time champion Bill Swanston and participating in the Pine to Palm is a scheduled vacation each year for the Linnerooths.
Johnson and Linnerooth were a lively pair on the course, keeping the competition light-hearted with each other and the gallery.
“It was a lot of fun. He’s (Johnson) a great guy. That makes a big difference.”
Sense of humor helped in some sense, as both golfers battled the course, themselves, and the wet conditions of Sunday after Saturday night rains at Detroit Lakes Country Club.
“It was a struggle. There were times when we both played okay, but we both struggled. We didn’t happen to play our best golf and I came out on top and got lucky.”
Linnerooth was up three twice on the first nine but Johnson closed the gap to one-down on the 10th hole.
The 10th tee box provided some excitement after Linnerooth avoided penalty strokes having knocked his ball off the tee on a practice swing. Having not officially addressed the ball, the penalty was negated.
The close call did affect his drive which lined left into the trees.
Johnson picked up a hole when Linnerooth was forced into a long bogey attempt to save the 10th hole and conceded upon the miss.
With momentum, Johnson drove the middle of the fairway on 11, while Linnerooth scrambled from the left rough. Both players hit approach shots within inches of each other and parred to halve the hole, indicative of play between the two seniors all day.
The pair battled back and forth with Linnerooth holding his one-hole advantage to the end.