Defending champion Andrew Israelson and the next 13 seeds all advanced to the round of 32 after the first day of match play at the 88th Pine to Palm in Detroit Lakes Thursday, Aug. 13.
Israelson played a practice round Tuesday but due to a mixup did not get on the course Wednesday and that led to an uphill learning curve on the front nine.
“It would have been nice to play yesterday because it was softer than the day before,” he said. “Today, I misplayed a few fairway shots because the ball was jumping so much. If you hit a really pure shot and compress the ball, like myself, I airmailed a couple greens with a half-swing, 60-degree wedge. It could have cost me but I was fortunate.”
Israelson had his hands full for 17 holes against the 64-seed Matt Peterson of Minneapolis. Peterson had a 2-up lead after six holes but Israelson responded with wins at the 7th and 8th to go to the turn all square.
While the 2019 champion worked on his game during the match, his head was in the right space.
“My brain was on,” he said. “My game wasn’t necessarily 100 percent but my brain was. I played really smart, especially the last four holes hitting the middle of the green when he was in trouble.”
A birdie on the par-4, 11th hole gave Israelson a 1-up lead he held until Peterson was long on his approach shot at 16 and bogeyed.
Israelson clinched the match on par-3, 17th.
“That shot on 17 was probably the best play I made all day, just club down,” he said.
Israelson had makeable putts on both 16 and 17 but with the lead he lagged to secure his scores and the win.
Players battled tricky winds on the day with mostly still pins but 30 mph gusts blowing through the treetops.
“It really came into play on 120 and in shots,” said Israelson. “The longer shots were pretty normal.”
Israelson was pleased to get past the first round and avoid the biggest upset possible at the tournament.
“I always feel like the 64 guy is usually better than the 15 people in front of him and maybe he just played kind of poorly in qualifying,” he said. “Once you get over this match it’s a little easier.”
Israelson has won back-to-back Resort Series championships before at The Birchmont 2016-17. The feat has not been accomplished at the Pine since 1976-77 by Bill Israelson, Andrew’s father.
Last year, Andrew’s win was the first father-son combination to win at Detroit Country Club. A repeat win this year would definitely add to the family legacy at the Pine to Palm.
Medalist and No. 2 seed Lucas Johnson continued his consistent play for a third straight day and was off the course early defeating No. 63 Adam McArthur 6&5.
No. 3 Bryan Hoops defeated No. 62 Joseph Adams 3&2.
No. 4 Ian Simonich was 2-down on the 10th hole, but rallied for three straight wins on holes 11-13 to flip the score and sealed the deal with birdie on 18 for a 1-up win over No. 61 Connor Jensen.
No. 5 Ryan Ames held off a late charge by No. 60 Tanner Lane winning 1-up after Lane cut a 3-down deficit with wins on the two par 3’s on the back nine.
No. 6 Brandon McGarry, No. 7 Andrew Passanante, No. 8 Chris Swenson, and No. 9 Dan Matheson all finished their matches without going to the 18th tee box.
No. 10 Nate Vontz was a 1-up winner; No. 11 Pat Dietz advance 2&1; No. 12 Cade Montplaisir was a 3&1 winner; No. 14 Erik Weiss had the most lopsided win of the day cruising to an 8&7 victory.
The first upsets of the day came in a bunch as the 15-17 seeds all fell.
No. 50 Jack Olson defeated No. 15 Jackson Worner on the 19th hole in the biggest upset of the day. Olson is the highest remaining seed.
No. 49 Samuel Gage was a 2up winner over No. 16 Cody Cook.
No. 48 Bryant Buckellew defeated No. 17 Max Ullan 3&2.
Three other matches went to extras. No. 33 Brennan Hockman defeated No 32 Cameron Rall on the 20th. Hockman and Rall were playing in the lead group with Israelson and Peterson.
Local fans got to watch Detroit Lakes high school senior No. 30 Lukas Justesen take on alumnus and summer hitting partner No. 35 Aaron Schnathorst.
“It was windier at the start,” said Schnathorst. “I got off to a really good start. I had one bogey all day. I just stayed out of trouble. Lukas made some errors; he’s a good player. I kind of got lucky there.”
Schnathorst finished the match on the 14th green a 5&4 victor.
The two Lakers have played around 50 rounds together this year.
“It was a little odd that way, but it was fun,” Schnathorst said. “My game is feeling good and I’ve got a little more confidence heading into tomorrow.”
No. 20 Nate Deziel and No. 22 Beck Erholtz both advanced with wins on the 19th.
No. 13 Greg Melhus and No. 25 Rick Kuhn both advanced. Kuhn, the 2018 runner-up and champion in 1991 and 2005 has an interesting second round match with 2017 champion Chris Swenson.
Melhus, the 2003 champion and 2001 runner-up will play Deziel.
Also moving on were: No. 18 Ben Hauge, No 19 Noah Lawson, No. 21 Tyler Muhs, No. 23 23 Jack Dudeck, No. 24 Taylor Schuck, No. 28 Ada Gronaas, No. 29 Sam Berger, No. 31 Connor Holland, the 2011 Pine to Palm champion, No 38 Connor Glynn and No. 39 Bob Bye.
Friday’s championship matches begin at 1:30 p.m.
The other three divisions are down to eight players.
Defending champion Perry Piatz will play No. 9 Mike Simonich. No. 2 Jake Witham plays No. 7 Aaron Burnside. 5 Jayme Gornnenberg faces No. 13 Tyler Nelson. No. 6 James Ford faces No. 14 Eric Harris.
In Seniors, two-time champion Dan Ystebo looks to defend his title against three-time Pine to Palm champion (1983, 87, 89) Jim Strandemo, the nine seed.
No. 12 John Jenson and No. 13 Kent Fronk both pulled upsets to advance and will meet Friday.
No. 3 AJ Greff (2012 Mid-Am champion, 2016 Seniors champion) faces No. 6 Wade King.
No. 7 Craig Stein advanced to face No. 15 Bob Cavanagh.
In Super Seniors, the past two champions Tim Rubis and David Andrisen moved on to the final eight. Rubis will play No. 9 Thomas Wood. Andrisen faces No. 7 Clint Nelson. No. .3 Dan Elton is coming off his third Resorters Masters Division championship last week and will play No. 6 Doug Gillund. No. 4 Bruce Bakke and No. 5 John Hagge are the final pairing.
Full leaderboards, pairings and course statistics for all divisions can be found at the Pine to Palm website.
Live scoring is available by downloading the Golf Genius app and using the GGID: DLP2P.
Pine to Palm Round of 64 results
1 Andrew Israelson 2&1 over 64 Matt Peterson
33 Brennan Hockman 1up over 32 Cameron Rall (20 holes)
49 Samuel Gage 2up over 16 Cody Cook
48 Bryant Buckellew 3&2 over 17 Max Ullan
8 Chris Swenson 5&4 over 57 Tyler Muschewske
25 Rick Kuhn 4&2 over 40 Sam Suppes
9 Dan Matheson 2&1 over 56 Ross Mickelson
24 Taylor Schuck 2up over 41 Tanner Sperling
4 Ian Simonich 1up over 61 Connor Jensen
29 Sam Berger 4&2 over 36 Jacob Skarperud
13 Greg Melhus 2up over 52 Brandon Nelson
20 Nate Deziel 1up over 45 Lincoln Cizek (19 holes)
5 Ryan Ames 1up over 60 Tanner Lane
28 Adam Gronaas 6&5 over 37 Travis Ingstad
12 Cade Montplaisir 3&1 over 53 Kyle Hickey
21 Tyler Muhs 5&4 over 44 Dylan Naylor
2 Lucas Johnson 6&5 over 63 Adam McArthur
31 Connor Holland 4&3 over 34 Hunter Burnside
50 Jack Olson 1up over 15 Jackson Worner (19 holes)
18 Ben Hauge 2&1 over 47 John Fischer
7 Andrew Passanante 7&6 over 58 Derek Harris
39 Bob Bye 3&2 over 26 Mason Opheim
10 Nate Vontz 1up over 55 Mark Olson
23 Jack Dudeck 3&2 over 42 Brady McGarry
3 Bryan Hoops 3&2 over 62 Joseph Adams
35 Aaron Schnathorst 5&4 over 30 Lukas Justesen
14 Erik Weiss 8&7 over 51 Jordie Siverson
19 Noah Lawson 6&5 over 46 Regan Steen
6 Brandon McGarry 2&1 over 59 Matt Bekkerus
38 Connor Glynn 1up over 27 Will Frazier
11 Pat Dietz 2&1 over 54 Eric Aughinbaugh
22 Beck Erholtz 1up over Carter Justesen (19 holes)