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Championship Saturday set at the Birchmont

John Hafdal chips out of the sand on hole No. 3 on Friday at the 96th annual Birchmont Golf Tournament at the Bemidji Town and Country Club. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- Championship Saturday is set at the 96th annual Birchmont Golf Tournament.

The championship finals are set in all divisions with the exception of the men’s field, which has been whittled down to four competitors ahead of Saturday morning’s semifinals.

The men’s final four will feature Johnny Larson, Danny Menton, John Hafdal and Mason Opheim.

Larson, men’s champion in 2007 and 2011, is the only player remaining with a Birchmont title. The former Iowa State golfer edged top qualifier Cody Cook on No. 18 to book his place in the semifinals with a 2-up victory.

Former Bemidji State golfer Danny Menton birdied the final two holes for a 1-up victory over two-time champion Andrew Israelson.


Concordia College golfer Mason Opheim prevailed over Bemidji’s Jay Gregory with a 5-and-4 win, including four birdies and an eagle on No. 4.

Former Beaver John Hafdal surged to a 1-up win after Beck Erholtz bogeyed No. 16 and double-bogeyed No. 17. Hafdal totaled two birdies and an eagle on No. 4.

The men’s semifinals are set for Saturday morning at a to-be-announced time. The winners advance to the final at 1:30 p.m.

Reigning champion Emily Israelson cruised to an 8-and-7 victory over Lily Bredmemeier to advance to her fifth women’s championship final.

After an even front nine, North Dakota State University golfer Maddie Herzog pulled ahead on the back nine for a 2-up win over University of North Dakota golfer and Bemidji native Abbie Kelm in Friday’s other semifinal.

Israelson will go for her fourth Birchmont title, and third in a row, against Herzog in Saturday’s final, set for 1:15 p.m.

Derek Hasselberg will vie for his second career executive men’s crown against Joe McKean in Saturday’s 1 p.m. final. The two each captured 2-and-1 wins in the semifinals.

In the senior men’s semifinals, Rick Passolt grinded out a 25-hole marathon of a match over Mark Lindberg to land a spot in the final. He’ll face Paul Court, a 2-and-1 semifinal winner over 2019 champion Jeff Slupe, at 12:45 p.m. Saturday.


Doug Taylor will aim for a second straight masters division title Saturday when he’ll face Jeff Tweeton in the final at 12:30 p.m. Taylor was a 3-and-2 winner Friday, while Tweeton prevailed 5-and-4.

Saturday’s championship matchup in the junior 13-17 division was set Thursday, and will feature Rylin Petry and Luke Thompson. Tee time is scheduled for 12:15 p.m.

For a schedule and full results, visit .

Related Topics: GOLF
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