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Mid-Am trims to its Final Four

Mike Seelye rolls a long birdie putt on the ninth green during Mid-Am match play Friday afternoon.1 / 6
Chad Niles blasts his drive on the par four 10th hole during his Friday Mid-Am match. Niles beat Duane Siverson.2 / 6
Wade King watches his long curving birdie putt on the eighth green lip-out during his Mid-Am match against Craig Stein Friday.3 / 6
Jay Olafson chips up to the the seventh green during his Mid-Am match against AJ Greff Friday.4 / 6
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Detroit Lakes' Mike Seelye did his best impression of a bulldog Friday during his Pine to Palm Mid-Am quarterfinal match against Perry Piatz.

The start of the match saw Piatz sink four birdies in the first five holes, which would have normally built up a nice comfortable lead in most matches.

But not Friday and not against Seelye, who has been playing a hot game of golf this week.

Instead of separating from Seelye, Piatz only had a 1-up advantage, which came on a chip-in birdie on hole four.

"I saw him making all those birdies, but I never gave up," Seelye said. "My putting and short game saved me. This was just a fun match, it felt like playing in a Championship match play again."

Incidentally, the last time Seelye played in the Championship field in 2002, then-medalist and current pro golfer Josh Person made eight birdies in nine holes.

"That was when I decided that playing Championship wasn't for me anymore," Seelye said.

But Friday, the birdie-fest Piatz was having didn't deter Seelye, instead he made his move to make the match a back-and-forth affair throughout.

Piatz went 2-up after another birdie on six, but Seelye scored that back on an up and down on eight.

"I was leaning hard on my putter today," Seelye added.

It wasn't until hole 14 where the DL golfer pulled to even after landing his seven-iron shot to within four feet of the cup.

Seelye's first lead came on 15 when Piatz hit out of bounds, but the match went back to even with a par.

After the duo halved 17, Seelye's short game saved him again on 18, as his approach landed closer to the cup for the eventual win.

"I was going to rely on my short game and give myself a chance," Seelye included. "It feels good, it feels nice being in the thick of things again."

Seelye will face Chad Niles in the semifinals, after Niles knocked off medalist Duane Siverson 2 and 1.

The defending champion Jay Olafson remained on track for a repeat, after he downed A.J. Greff 3 and 2.

"I had a good, solid round with some consistent golf," Olafson said.

Another strong start catapulted Olafson to a commanding 4-up lead after six holes, where he maintained and weathered a couple of Greff comebacks.

"I didn't miss too many putts and stayed out of trouble for the most part," Olafson added. "I got in control early and didn't have to go out and seek the pins."

Wade King will be Olafson's semifinal opponent, after he eliminated Craig Stein 2 and 1.

The two semifinals matches will start at 2:13 p.m. on tee one.

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