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Greff aiming to be first repeat Seniors champ since 2001

Defending champion AJ Greff is two matches away from repeating in Seniors, which hasn't been done since Robert Wernick last did it in 2001. Robert Williams/Tribune1 / 3
Dan Ystebo2 / 3
Kent Spriggs3 / 3

Only one of the top five Senior qualifiers remain in the field after four quick victories for winners in Friday’s quarterfinal matches at the 85th Pine to Palm golf tournament.

AJ Greff holds the top seed and had one of the tougher matchups in the second round in a battle of the last two champions with Keith Aasen.

Greff prevailed 4&3 over Aasen, seeded eighth. It's the sixth consecutive match victory for Greff.

In the other half of the bracket, two-time Mid-Am champion Kent Spriggs will provide the next test for Greff in his effort to repeat.

Spriggs is seeded 12th and took out No. 4 Jay Olafson 4&3.

There has not been a back-to-back champion in Seniors since a string of four of them in a row from 1994-2001.

Joe Mayer won from 1994-95; Robert Wernick pulled it off twice 1996-97 and 2000-01. Gerry Douglas captured both years in 1996-97.

None of the Senior matches got anywhere near the 18th hole.


No. 15 John Berg’s run, from a playoff win to get into match play and an upset of the No. 2 seed George Strand, came to an end at the hands of No. 7 Greg Birdsell 6&5.

Birdsell has won both of his matches by lopsided scores winning 6&4 in the first round.

No. 6 Dan Ystebo defeated No. 3 Thomas Solein in the closest match of the four winning 3&2.

Saturday’s semifinals begin in the afternoon session with Greff and Spriggs on hole No. 1; Birdsell and Ystebo square off beginning on No. 10. Both matches begin at 2:02 p.m.

Senior quarterfinals:

No. 1 AJ Greff 4&3 over No. 8 Keith Aasen

No. 12 Kent Spriggs 4&3 over No. 4 Jay Olafson

No. 7 Greg Birdsell 6&5 over No. 15 John Berg

No. 6 Dan Ystebo 3&2 over No. 3 Thomas Solein

Robert Williams

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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