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Storms end 2nd round prematurely; 4 matches left

There were two things Moorhead's Nick Olsgaard avoided Friday evening at the Detroit Country Club during the 79th Pine to Palm Golf Tournament at the Detroit Country Club.

The first was the massive storm which was blowing in from the west, as it threatened his second round match against Duluth's Troy Klongerbo.

The second was defeat, after Olsgaard had a big time rally late in his match, erasing a three-hole deficit to Klongerbo by winning the final four holes to win 1-up and advance to the field of 16.

"My heart is still racing," Olsgaard said after making it back to the clubhouse as the skies opened up with a downpour. "I knew I could do it, I just had to dig deep."

Olsgaard won the Par 3 17th hole after hitting the green, while Klongerbo drove into the right side bunker to take a 1-up advantage.

The pair halved 18 to ensure the big comeback for Olsgaard. Not 10 minutes later, play was suspended.

"After winning 17, that was a big cushion after being three down at 14," said Olsgaard, who is a sophomore on the NDSU men's golf team. "It also was huge being able to end the match, because I didn't want to give away the momentum I had by winning four straight holes."

That's exactly what could have happened if the match would have lasted 10 minutes later, since four of the second-round matches were not finished and will be played at 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

Olsgaard also tore the monkey off his back Thursday, after he won his first-ever Pine to Palm match after four years of trying.

"I qualified for match play every time and this is the first year I got out of the first round," the Bison golfer said. "So it's a big burden off my shoulders."

Olsgaard, who is the highest seed remaining at No. 3, has done well in match play this summer, with an All-City (Fargo) Tournament championship to prove it.

But he's not overlooking anyone.

"This is match play, anything can happen," he added. "I'm just going to keep grinding."

His next opponent will be decided Saturday morning, as Brad Andvik and Patrick Larkin are even on the 18th hole.

Another first-time Pine to Palm winner who was able to add his second victory under his belt Friday was Detroit Lakes' Robert Wagner.

The 1997 DLHS graduate, who now lives in St. Louis Park, is the lone golfer left from the host town -- and Wagner was responsible for eliminating the other one.

Wagner downed Detroit Lakes' Mitch Buboltz 4 and 3, after building a 3-up advantage at the turn, which included back-to-back wins on holes four and five.

"I felt more relaxed today and that I found my swing," Wagner said. "I was hitting the ball on the fairway and hit a lot of greens in regulation."

Wagner played golf in high school and at Augsburg College, before giving it up for a few years.

This summer he decided to focus on his game and play another Pine to Palm.

He qualified for championship match play for the first time after shooting a 148, and proceeded to beat Dan Matheson 3 and 2.

"I've played in the Pine to Palm five or six times in high school and college and won the Pine Flight," Wagner added. "But I came in this year, believing in myself and being comfortable with my golf game."

Wagner will face the winner between Greg Melhus and Sam Palmisano, who were out on the course when play was suspended.

One other DL golfer dropped out of contention as Laker junior Austin Rusness lost to John Young 1-up.

The University of Minnesota Gopher contingent also dropped one more, after Robert Bell was defeated by James Niles of Mesa, Ariz., 2 and 1.

The Gopher who did advance was Alex Gaugert, who downed Fargo's Lukas Davison 2-up. Jon Trasamar also won, beating Ben Welle 4 and 3.

Gaugert set the pace on the front nine, by sinking five birdies and an eagle, but finished with six bogeys total in his round.

"I had some shots where I needed to find some fairways better," Gaugert said. "I wasn't putting the best and (Davison) was sinking a lot of 10-plus putts.

"I am learning the golf course better and I'm feeling more comfortable with it."

The other two matches not finished included Bob Cavanagh versus Parker Dire and Taylor Cavanagh against Trevor Vandelac.

The three other divisions in championship play were able to make their final four bids.

In the Mid-Am, defending champ Chad Niles will face Duane Siverson and medalist Kent Fronk will take on last year's runner-up and 2009 champion Jay Olafson.

In Senior championship semifinal action, defending champion Tim Rubis will play Scott Linnerooth and T.L. Solien will face Rob Harris.

The Super Seniors' semifinals will include medalist Chuck Renner playing Dr. Robert Harris and Dr. Rick Render against Tom Hanson.

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