Semifinal field set for championship Sunday at the Pine to Palm
No. 8-seeded Jackson Foth of Lenexa, Kansas put an end to a solid run by Ben Strauman, the No. 64 seed, and Foth enters the semifinals of the 86th Pine to Palm golf tournament as top-ranked golfer left in the field.
“He scrambled well and I handed him a few holes with putting and then we made a couple sloppy bogeys on the front that we tied,” said Foth. “On the back nine, I just figured I needed to keep hitting fairways and keeping hitting greens and giving myself putts.”
Foth led 2-up at the turn and never looked back with a conservative approach that was good for a 5&4 victory.
“I hit it well on the back nine and gave myself some looks,” he said. “I didn’t make any of them, but I just wanted to keep the pressure on and that was good enough. I played a little more conservatively, being up.”
No. 30 Connor Glynn, a senior at Waconia high school and a University of Minnesota commit, got off the course in a hurry taking out Bemidji State University junior Brennan Hockman 6&5.
Glynn took the first hole and continued to build on his lead.
“My wedges have been really good, so has my putting; on this course your wedges have to be good because it’s short and putting well helps a lot,” said Glynn.
For these players, any hole is a birdie hole and Glynn found that out playing Detroit Country Club for the first time on Tuesday.
“First two days of qualifying I made a lot of birdies and a lot of bogeys,” he said. “Then in match play, I have made a lot of pars and a few birdies here and there, so it’s been different. I thought it would be the opposite because I’ve been more aggressive in match play than stroke play, but maybe that’s the way to do it out here.”
No. 45 Lucas Johnson and Thomas Longbella were even through the first five holes before two straight wins by Johnson, a lead he would keep until finishing the match on hole No. 16.
“We both played great and it was just one of those matches where birdies win the hole,” Johnson said. “Coming in I made some clutch putts on 13 and 15; it all came down to short game,”
Johnson will face Foth, another top 10 qualifier, in the first semifinal on Sunday morning after taking out No. 5 Longbella to end 36 holes of play on Saturday.
“He’s such a good player you have to attack, attack, you can’t let up,” said Johnson. “It’s something I’ve been building over the years, being aggressive in match play, because the second you let up a window opens.”
The final quarterfinal went 22 holes between No. 10 Rick Kuhn and No. 34 Austin Schultz. Both players were even coming down the stretch with Schultz taking two leads but watching the one hole advantage disappear both times. Kuhn squared the match at 17 and both missed potential winning putts on the 18th.
Kuhn played the four extra holes birdie, birdie, par, par to advance.
With Strauman out of the field, Kuhn is the lone 40-something left with a shot at the championship. He won the Pine to Palm title in 1991 and 2005.
The semifinals being Sunday, Aug. 12 at 8 a.m.
Pine to Palm Quarterfinal results
8 Jackson Foth (5&4) 64 Ben Strauman
45 Lucas Johnson (3&2) 5 Thomas Longbella
10 Rick Kuhn (1-up) 34 Austin Schultz (22 holes)
30 Connor Glynn (6&5) 22 Brennan Hockman