Olafson back for another shot; Niles in championship
Ever since Fargo's Jay Olafson won the inaugural Pine to Palm Mid-Am championship last year, he's thought much about doing it again.
That time has arrived and he is potentially 18 holes away from doing just that.
Olafson downed Georgia's Wade King in the Mid-Am semifinals Saturday 4 and 3 to advance to his second straight title match, which will tee off Sunday at 12:40 p.m.
"I've been there once and it was fun," Olafson said. "I know what to expect now and I've thought about repeating. I'd love to win back-to-back championships, because this year's field is much better.
"I'm happy with where I'm at."
Olafson will meet Fargo's Chad Niles in the title match, after Niles beat Detroit Lakes Mike Seelye 4 and 3 in the other semifinal match.
Niles jumped out to a quick start, winning the first four holes and upping that lead to 6-up with two more front nine victories.
Seelye made birdie on 12 and 13 to take two holes, but Niles ended the match on 15.
"I played quite well and I'm ready for the championship match," Niles said. "Mike was off his game, especially around the greens, where he is usually tough."
Olafson also was able to take a 1-up lead with a par on six, but unfortunately for King, his back starting to act up, which hindered his play for the rest of the round.
"That's too bad Wade's back went out, he's a good player and you could tell it was affecting him," Olafson said.
But Olafson also did his part to win the match by making a couple of 20-plus foot putts.
"My putter saved my butt today," Olafson added.
Now, it will be down to one golfer searching for his first Pine to Palm title and the other trying to add to his trophy case.