The Pine to Palm round of 32 will have a local flair as five Detroit Lakes natives advanced after Thursday's first round of match play at the Detroit Country Club.
Tanner Schnathorst caught a break from his opponent Dieter Zuehlke on 18. Schnathorst just missed a putt to even the match leaving Zuehlke a tricky three-footer for the victory. His put slipped off the side of the cup sending the match to extra holes.
“I left the putt a little short; I thought I lost it there,” Schnathorst said. “He ended up missing and gave me a chance.”
Both golfers hit bombs of the par-5, 500-yard extra hole. Schnathorst had the distance leaving himself a wedge into the green.
“I’ve only ever seen one other guy hit it that far, Tanner Jones, and he hits it about 350 every time,” he said. “I knew I was going to put it close to the hole.”
Zuehlke was short and forced to chip before conceding the match.
That was awesome, a lot of fun,” Schnathorst said.
Isaac Cihak controlled his match against Joe Schornack leading 3-up from the start to a 4&3 victory.
“I started out winning one, two and three and the putter was on fire,” said Cihak. “It was a blast. For match play putting I just love to go after the hole. In qualifying I was a little more conservative. Tomorrow I’m going to keep being aggressive.”
Nathan Ginnaty defeated Matt Bekkerus 3&2 in an all Detroit Lakes match. Ginnaty opened with a 2-up lead and held it to win 3&2.
Tanner Lane turned the tide of his match flipping a 1-down deficit into a 2-up win on 18 after sinking a 50-foot putt on the 17th green to steal the hole while Dylan Naylor missed a far more makeable effort from eight feet.
Ben Bergquist erased a late one-hole deficit to be the fifth DL native moving on in a 1-up victory over Nick Evin.
Two other former Lakers had near misses. Wyatt Blomseth had a tough draw for the second year in a row against Rick Kuhn falling 3&1 to the veteran. Ben Unruh had an eight-iron into the 19th hole go left into the trees allowing Mason Kennedy to ease a chip into birdie distance winning on the made putt.
“He’s a grinder. He hit the ball everywhere and got up and down from a lot of places,” said Kennedy. “I actually played very well. I hit the driver awesome.”
In his 14th year at the tournament, Kennedy picked up his second career match victory.
Cade Montplaisir and Fergus Falls’ Keaton Lausch were the first two off the course both posting 5&4 wins.
“I got off to a decent start today and was four up through five; that takes a lot of the pressure off,” said Lausch. “I hit a few more drivers today than qualifying but basically stuck to the game plan.”
Moorhead’s Erik Weiss, the No. 3 seed, avoided an upset to No. 62 Logan Palmer. On the first extra hole, Palmer’s approach shot caught a tree branch allowing Weiss to lag putt for a conceded victory.
“That lag putt gets a lot harder when all you have to do is get it up there,” said Weiss. “You’ve still got some nerves on it, but it was nice to have two putts to come out of there.”
Weiss was three holes down through No. 13.
“I finally got some putts to drop,” he said. “That’s the beauty of this tournament, the back-and-forth.”
No. 22 Bryant Buckellew played like the top seed in building a 5-up lead through the first five holes against No. 43 Brandon McGarry en route to a 3&2 victory. The quick start was due to his game on the greens.
“I had four birdies and made four 15-footers, putter was rolling hot,” Buckellew said.
His second shot on hole No. 6 went out-of-bounds to stop the streak, but he held a 4-up lead after nine holes cruising to a 3&2 victory including a chip-in on hole No. 11.
Including Kuhn and Weiss the top seven seeds all advanced.
Medalist Andrew Israelson continued to play well defeating Michael Kosiek 4&2. Fellow NDSU Bison Lucas Johnson, the No. 2 seed, ousted Max Karnik 5&4. No. 4 Cody Cook was a 5&3 winner over Blaze Ackerland. No. 5 Bill Carlson defeated Andrew Johnson 2&1. No. 7 Will Czeh needed extra holes to take out John Fischer.
The top upset of the day was made by Moorhead high school junior Ian Simonich 4&2 over No. 8 Matt Kulla.
No. 9 Ryan Ames of the University of North Dakota defeated Concordia's Nathaniel Kahlbaugh 4&3. Rounding out the top 10, Nate Adams defeated No. 55 Logan Hamak in two extra holes.
In a late match with some unusual circumstance, No. 34 Pat Dietz defeated No. 31 Andrew Passanante 1-up in extra holes. Dietz is Passanante's boss.
The round of 32 begins at 1:27 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9.
Pine to Palm Match Play (Round of 64)
ANDREW ISRAELSON (1) 4&2 MICHAEL KOSIEK (64)
LUCAS JOHNSON (2) 5&4 MAX KARNIK
ERIK WEISS (3) 1-up LOGAN PALMER (62)
CODY COOK (4) 5&3 BLAZE ACKERLAND (61)
BILL CARLSON (5) 2&1 ANDREW JOHNSON (60)
RICK KUHN (6) 3&1 WYATT BLOMSETH (59)
WILL CZEH (7) 1-up JOHN FISCHER (58)
IAN SIMONICH (57) 4&2 MATT KULLA (8)
RYAN AMES (9) 4&3 NATHANIEL KAHLBAUGH (56)
NATE ADAMS (10) 1-up LOGAN HAMAK (55)
CADE MONTPLAISIR (11) 5&4 GUS LEIVERMANN (54)
JOE CHRISTIANSON (12) 4&3 JORDIE SIVERSON (53)
NATHAN GINNATY (13) 3&2 MATT BEKKERUS (52)
BEN BERGQUIST (51) 1-up NICK EVIN (14)
TODD HILLIER (50) 2&1 NATE VARTY (15)
TANNER SCHNATHORST (16) 1-up DIETER ZUEHLKE
BLAKE KAHLBAUGH (17) 1-up CALEB KETTERLING
JACK OLSON (18) 3&1 NOLAN FRANK (47)
KEATON LAUSCH (19) 5&4 CAMERON RALL (46)
ADAM VAN RADEN (20) 1-up vs BOB BYE (45)
AUSTIN RENE (21) 1-up LAYTON BARTLEY (44)
BRYANT BUCKELLEW (22) 3&2 BRANDON MCGARRY (43)
TANNER LANE (42) 2-up DYLAN NAYLOR (23)
ISAAC CIHAK (24) 4&3 JOE SCHORNACK (41)
JACK MICHEL (40) 3&2 JACOB SKARPERUD
PATRICK TRAYNOR (26) 5&4 MATT KOSTER (39)
JUSTIN REDDING (27) 1-up RYAN STEINERT (38)
GREG MELHUS (28) 3&2 COY PAPACHEK (37)
MARC VINCELLI (36) 3&2 CHRIS SWENSON (29)
ALEX SKARPERUD (30) 1-up SAWYER JAEGER (35)
PAT DEITZ (34) 1-up ANDREW PASSANANTE (31)
MASON KENNEDY (33) 1-up BEN UNRUH (32)