Melhus outs defending Mid-Am champ
Michael Melhus has been the benefactor of playing with defending Mid-Am champion Scott Uithoven and that advantage on Friday earned No. 5 Melhus a spot in the Pine to Palm semifinals.
Friday marked the fifth time in two years the two players have played in the same grouping, with, or against each other at Detroit Country Club. Melhus had the biggest win of the four quarterfinals 3&2.
“Scott’s a great player; he’s one of the guys I cheer for in my bracket so it was kind of a tough draw to match up with Scott, especially, knowing the kind of player he is,” said Melhus.
The duo played in Monday’s qualifying where Melhus took the first-day lead with a four-under round.
“I hit it really well today; I had my Monday 67 round in me today with two other ugly rounds in there,” Melhus said. “I played with Scott Monday too, so I was giving him a hard time. I wish I could play with him every round.”
Melhus produced a solid effort to earn the victory with birdies on hole Nos. 1, 7 and 12 and he had only one bogey with a three-putt on 15.
“Everything was good today,” he said. “Good lag putts, good off the tee. It was my Monday round. I had the 79 round on Tuesday. Today, everything worked. I’m confident tomorrow I’ll come out with my best stuff, but it’s golf - anything can happen.”
Top-seeded Jason Justesen and No. 9 Aaron Burnside battled for bragging rights between the Detroit Lakes’ golfers. Justesen held off Burnside’s upset attempt 1-up. Melhus and Justesen square off in the first Mid-Am semifinal Saturday at 2:11 p.m., on hole No. 1.
The other two matches also finished with 1-up scores.
No. 2 Perry Piatz made it a rough day for the Uithovens defeating Paul Uithoven. Piatz will take on No. 3 Darren Haley.
Haley had a back-and-forth match with No. 6 Bob Cavanagh of Perham.
Cavanagh had two of the pair’s three front nine birdies, but Haley held on late in the match earning the win on the 18th hole.
“We had some momentum going both ways, but it kind of lulled on the back,” said Haley. “I came back on the last couple holes. It was a really good match; I had a great time with Bob today.”
Haley and Piatz begin semifinal play on hole No. 10 Saturday at 2:11 p.m.
“I’m really happy,” Haley said. ”I’ve played pretty well and pretty solid the last couple days and I’m just hoping to show up with some type of game tomorrow and just have some fun.”
Piatz is the lone remaining player to have won the Mid-Am title at Pine to Palm (2013).
No. 1 Jason Justesen 1-up over No. 9 Aaron Burnside
No. 2 Perry Piatz 1-up over No. 7 Paul Uithoven
No. 3 Darren Haley 1-up over No. 6 Bob Cavanagh
No. 5 Michael Melhus 3&2 over No. 4 Scott Uithoven