Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14.
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It took 22 holes of golf to decide the 86th Pine to Palm championship with a missed putt to halve by Rick Kuhn finally ending the match on the fourth extra hole to give Jackson Foth of Kansas the title. Foth captured the championship in his second appearance at the tournament. “I’m glad I won it the second time instead of my first time because I don’t think I understood how big of a deal it was up here,” he said.
Jackson Foth of Kansas and two-time Pine to Palm champion Rick Kuhn will duel for the championship trophy at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12 at Detroit Country Club in Detroit Lakes. Foth never trailed in his semifinal match against Lucas Johnson leading by 3-up at the turn and hanging on late as Johnson closed to 1-down at 16. Both players had putts lip out on 17 to halve and ended with a halve of the final hole.
There has never been a Pine to Palm Super Seniors championship match without the presence of the tournament’s most decorated player Chuck Renner. This year is no exception as the six-time winner and two-time runner-up goes for a seventh championship. Renner defeated Paul Krueger 2&1 in a storied rematch of the first Supers championship and many, many others between two guys who are good friends for 51 weeks of the year - just not during the Pine.
No. 3 Kent Spriggs and No. 4 Craig Stein combined in the semifinals to dispose of the top two seeds and the past two Seniors division champions Saturday, Aug. 12 at the 86th Pine to Palm golf tournament. Both players also made a beeline to the clubhouse and out of the sweltering heat by winning efficiently. Stein defeated defending champion Dan Ystebo 6&4.
The Pine to Palm Mid-Am champions from the past two years and this season’s top two seeds Perry Piatz and Scott Uithoven will meet Sunday to either match or break the career titles mark in the division. Piatz is one of three players holding two Mid-Am championships (2013, 2017). A win would make him the only three-time winner breaking the tie with Kent Spriggs (2014-15) and Jay Olafson (2009, 2011). Spriggs is the only back-to-back winner in the 10 years of division play, a mark Piatz could also reach.
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.”
No. 5 Thomas Longbella, No. 8 Jackson Foth and No. 10 Rick Kuhn are the three remaining top 10 qualifiers after completion of the Pine to Palm round of 16 Saturday morning at Detroit Country Club. Longbella defeated No. 53 Cade Montplaisir 2-up sealing the victory on the 18th hole.
Last year’s finalist Michael Melhus, the 13th seed, is the lone golfer from the bottom half of qualifying to remain in contention against the top three seeds in the Pine to Palm Mid-Am division semifinals. Melhus defeated Detroit Lakes’ Jason Justesen 6&4 to advance and set up a rematch of last year’s championship with the current title holder Perry Piatz in Saturday’s semifinals.
All four semifinalists have championship match experience as the top four seeds advanced Friday, Aug. 10 in the 86th Pine to Palm Seniors division. Only one of the four quarterfinals was tightly contested as No. 10 Jim Strandemo, a three-time Pine to Palm champion in the 80’s, gave 2016 Seniors champion and last year’s runner-up AJ Greff all he could handle. The duo battled to extra holes with Greff coming out victorious to force a rematch of the 2012 Mid-Am championship with Kent Spriggs.
The Pine to Palm Super Seniors quarterfinals were a lesson in the difference between stroke and match play as both co-medalists Don Bradford and Doug Taylor, along with defending champion Doug Gillam, were all eliminated from championship play Friday, Aug. 10 at Detroit Country Club. The semifinals consist of players seeded fifth through eighth as the top three seeds all went down.