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Siverson notches Mid-Am medalist honors

Concordia College men's and women's golf coach Duane Siverson is practicing what he preaches.

Siverson did what he always does when out on the links during his two qualifying rounds for the Mid-Amateur Division in the Pine to Palm Tournament, Monday and Tuesday at the Detroit Country Club -- he made pars.

Siverson -- who also was Concordia's men's basketball coach for 17 years -- played for par, and it was more than good enough to earn Mid-Am medalist honors with a final two-under par 140, after shooting an even 71 Monday and two-under 69 Tuesday.

"When I play, I'm a grinder, par is my goal," said Siverson, who bested Detroit Lakes' Mike Seelye by two strokes for medalist laurels. "I've had rounds with 18 pars. They call me a conservative player, but I just want to stay away from trouble."

Siverson didn't find much trouble during Tuesday's two-under par round -- and when he did find it, he got out of it.

Two sand shots saved a pair of pars on holes eight and 17, while he added a string of three consecutive birdies on five through seven.

"After I made birdie on holes five through seven, I saw two guys in the group in front of us push their tee shots out of bounds on eight," Siverson said. "So I held onto my shot and hit the bunker, but I was able to lay it 12-feet below the hole and save par.

"I felt after that, I could make the rest of my shots."

Siverson made birdie on 16 to go back to two-under par, then saved par on 17 after landing in the bunker and putting his sand shot six feet from within the cup.

"I was driving the ball well and kept the ball in play all day," Siverson added.

The Concordia golf coach returns to the Pine to Palm after about a 15-year layoff. He competed in Championship play and was a regular making the cut for match play, but never advanced past the third round.

"Now, I'm just going to keep my wits and stay focused (in Mid-Am match play)," said Siverson, who will carry the No. 2 seed, with defending champion Jay Olafson gaining the automatic No. 1 seed. "Like I tell my college kids when they ask how to play match-play -- just go out and make par."

Siverson claims the second-ever Mid-Am medalist laurels in the Pine to Palm, after Otis Hesteness of Mission, Texas, won the inaugural Mid-Am honors last year.

Hesteness made the cut of 16 for match play after shooting a 10-over 150.

Seelye just missed earning medalist honors after shooting a one-under par 70 Tuesday, after his one-over 72 Monday.

"I am very happy shooting one-under (Tuesday)," Seelye said. "I've been playing well lately. The Mid-Am is wonderful for our age of guys, too. We still can play with the young golfers, but it's hard to stay consistent against them all week."

Perry Piatz was the only other golfer to shoot a two-under 69 during Mid-Am qualifying, carding his Monday.

Piatz shot for a hole in one on hole 14 to key his two-under score. He finished with a five-over par 76 Tuesday and will carry the sixth seed into match play.

The field of 16 is set to tee it off for match play, starting Thursday.

Mid-Am scores

Final 2-round qualifying scores (top 16 qualify for match play): Jay Olafson (def. champ), Duane Siverson 71-69-140; Mike Seelye 72-70-142; Bob Cavanagh 72-71-143; Scott Linnerooth 70-73-143; Perry Piatz 69-76-145; Chad Niles 72-75-147; George Strand 71-76-147; AJ Greff 75-74-149; Kent Fronk 70-79-149; Keith Aasen 77-72-149; Wade King 77-72-149; Craig Stein 73-77-150; Otis Hesteness 76-74-150; Miles Schacher 78-73-151; Brad Solheim 79-75-154...Missed cut: Thomas Solien 79-75-154; Paul Uithoven 76-79-155; Thomas Liudahl 79-76-155; Tim Carlson 75-81-156; Bill Schommer 81-75-156; Eric King 78-79-157; Aaron Burnside 82-76-158; Jay Peterson 78-80-158.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.