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DL’s Seelye enjoys jump to Senior’s, advances early

It was good timing last year for Detroit Lakes’ Mike Seelye after he decided to stay in the Mid-Am division,  where he  eventually won medalist honors.

The silver he won was the first he earned at the Pine to Palm Golf Tournament after many years of playing in the prestigious amateur event.

But for the 2013 tournament, Seelye wasn’t going to pass up his chance to jump the Mid-Am ship and land in the Senior’s division for his first go-around.

After Thursday’s first round, he appeared to have made the right choice. Seelye won his first-ever Senior’s match after qualifying for match play with a qualifying score of one-over par 72.

He defeated Ron Vincelli 2 and 1.

“Playing one round of qualifying was a real attraction to me,” Seelye said. “And no offense to the Mid-Am golfers, but this Senior’s division might be tougher.”

Seelye played for pars Thursday against Vincelli, while making two birdies on the day.

“I was playing pretty solid coming into match play, but ended up taking some goofy shots on the front nine today,” Seelye said.

The DL golfer was 2-up at the turn, but lost holes 10 and 11 by birdie and par by Vincelli.

Seelye’s momentum was created when he hit the greens on each of 15 through 17, giving up putts of 10-foot or less.

Vincelli hit the bunker on 16 and Seelye finished it off by shooting his ball to within 15 feet for the win.

“The key now, is to hit the ball solid and not give up holes,” Seelye said. “I need to be more aggressive making birdies.

Defending champion Scott Linnerooth was a 4 and 3 winner over Moorhead’s Rick Johnson, while Fargo’s Tim Rubis downed Jim Brothers 5 and 4 to set up the two for a second round meeting.

Other winners included Steve Herzog with a 3 and 2 winner over Ron Burnside, who then faced three-time Pine to Palm champion Jim Strandemo after he won 4 and 3 over Dan Elton.

Medalist Rob Harris still looked tough to beat with a convincing 7 and 6 win over Rick Crawford. He next faced Mark Doyle, who toppled George Strand 3 and 2.

No. 3 seed Craig Stein beat Mike Stirling 2 and 1, and faced Seelye in Friday’s second round.

Results for all divisions will be in Wednesday’s Detroit Lakes Tribune.

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