The 99th Resorters Golf Tournament started with more than 350 competitors on Aug. 2 and wrapped up on Saturday evening at the Alexandria Golf Club with 10 champions being honored.
The Men’s Championship Division winner was a native of Indiana as Austin Vukovits survived 40 holes to win two matches on Saturday.
Vukovits will be a junior on the Mississippi State University golf team this coming season. It was his first-ever time playing the Resorters, and the 12-hour drive home will be more enjoyable with a trophy, he said, after he held on for a 1-up win over Josh Galvin, a soon-to-be senior in high school at Maple Grove.
Vukovits survived a 22-hole marathon in his semifinals match on Saturday morning. He trailed by three holes with three to go against Tristan Nelko out of the University of Nebraska. He birdied two of the last three holes to tie it and then won with a par on the fourth playoff hole.
“That first match took a lot out of me for sure,” Vukovits said. “It was a quick turnaround after that. Playing Josh was tough, but I had to focus in. We fought it out there in the end.”
Vukovits had never been to Minnesota before this week, but he said he’ll be back and bringing more of his friends to play the tournament next year.
Troy Johnson of Maple Grove won his third straight Executive Division title.
He held off a great effort from Geoff Klein before winning 1-up. Johnson birdied the final hole to secure the win after he stuck his approach shot to within a foot of the cup from almost 65 yards.
Ale Heinen of Wichita, Kansas won her first Women’s Division title.
Heinen beat Osakis native Alayna Eldred in the championship by a 4-2 final. She held a 2-up lead at the turn and held on down the stretch.
Betsy Aldrich of Minneapolis won her sixth Resorters title by taking the Women’s Executive Division with a 4-3 win over Alexandria’s Nancy Syverson.
It was the second straight Executive title for Aldrich and her third in the last four years. Syverson stuck with the perennial power through seven holes, but Aldrich’s birdie win on 8 gave her a lead she never gave up.
Rick Vanyo won the Senior Division championship.
Vanyo beat Pete Passolt in a 5-4 match after Passolt had made a run through the tournament as the 31st seed in the 32-player field. Vanyo was seeded 25th himself after qualifying, but he caught fire during match play. He never gave up a hole to Passolt, with his wins coming on holes 3, 4, 7, 8 and 13.
Dan Elton of Moorhead won his third Master Division title at the Resorters.
Elton beat Tom Ryan by a 3-1 score. Ryan was playing in his first-ever title match in Alexandria. He held a 2-up lead on the front, but Elton rallied with five wins, including a par win at 17 that sealed the victory.
Alexandria’s Tom Eidsvold won his second straight Grand Master championship.
Eidsvold beat multiple-time Resorters champion George Cliff by a 4-3 final. He used a strong start to build a 6-up lead after 10 holes. Cliff rallied with three straight wins on 11, 12 and 13, but it was too little, too late.
Nicholas Adams won the Men’s Regular Division’s first flight after beating Alexandria’s Brandon Bistodeau on Saturday morning.
Bistodeau made a late charge after trailing by three after 10 holes. He tied it with two pars and a birdie on holes 11-13. It was still tied after 18, but Adams got the job done on the second playoff hole to secure his first-ever title in 20 holes.
Alexandria’s Hannah Boraas also won her first Resorters championship.
Boraas got the 12th seed in the Junior 13-15 Division, but she rolled once they turned to match play. Boraas beat Carson Boe of Cottonwood by a 6-5 score in the championship. A birdie win on the second hole got her going, and she rattled off four more wins on the front to take control.
Lunden Esterline was the final champion in the 10-division field as he won the Junior 10-12 title with a 2-up victory over Will Hacker.
Esterline used pars on holes 11, 15 and 17 to help him secure the win in his 9-hole match.
See the Wednesday, Aug. 12 issue of the Echo Press for much more from these championship matches.