Stromstad sets Seniors record
The Pine to Palm has a new Senior's medalist record after Bismarck's John Stromstad shattered the old mark with his six-under par 65.
And he credits his strong play to the shiny part of his golf ball.
Stromstad's 65 eclipsed Robert Wernick's 68, which he set in 1999, and it's all due to a little tip former University of Minnesota golfer and instructor Perry Andrisen gave him this summer.
"This July 1, Perry gave me the best tip I ever received in my 50 years of playing golf," Stromstad said. "He told me to see the shiny part of the golf ball and keep my eye on it. It sounds easy, but it has helped me keep my eye on the ball and really helps me keep my focus."
In Stromstad's case, proof is in the pudding.
After taking Andrisen's tip to heart, Stromstad went on to win the All-State Tournament in Bismarck and the North Dakota Seniors Championship.
So after his recent success, Stromstad decided to take his game on the road to a tournament he has admired since his younger years.
"I played in the Pine to Palm in 1969 and always wanted to come back," the Senior's medalist said. "This is the best golf I have played in my entire life."
Obviously, it was the best Senior's golf round the Pine to Palm has ever seen.
Stromstad's round started golden, with an up-and-down game on his opening hole 10. He kept rolling right along by making birdie on holes 11 and 12.
He recovered from a bogey on 13 with par putts on holes 14-17, and then took birdie on 18 to go 2-under at the turn.
A birdie on two, after just coming up short on his 15-foot eagle putt, continued his hot streak.
He capped his history-making round with birdies on eight and nine.
"I was counting the numbers before I started playing and figured a 77 would be close to making the cut," Stromstad said. "I just wanted to avoid the big numbers, but I have never hit the ball better and further than I have been lately."
Even after a long absence from the Pine to Palm, Stromstad came back with a fury and now will see his name on the medalist list board on the Detroit Country Club clubhouse.
"It's awesome," Stromstad said. "It was a good day."
The closest anyone came to Stromstad's 65 was Fargo's Clint Nelson's two-over par 73.
John Schwankl and Mike Stirling each finished with a 74 to tie for third.
The Senior's field of 16 had a clean cut of a seven-over par 78, with three tying for the bottom three positions in Rick Crawford, Burke Kiger and Ron Burnside.
Defending champion T.L. Solien will hold the No. 1 seed and Stromstad will carry the No. 2 seed.
The 16 championship qualifiers include: Solien, Stromstad, Nelson, Schwankl, Stirling, Spencer Clark, Conrad Lopes, Larry Olin, John Hagge, Ron Galuska, Rob Harris, Dan Elton, Tim Rubis, Crawford, Kiger and Burnside.