Simonich, Justesen duel at North-South tournament

Pine to Palm champ edges Lakers' top golfer by one stroke in a matchup of Mr. Minnesota Golf candidates.

Detroit Lakes senior Lukas Justesen was the runner-up at the North-South golf tournament Saturday, May 22, 2021 at Headwaters Golf Club in Park Rapids. Robert Williams / Tribune

Moorhead’s Ian Simonich and Detroit Lakes’ Lukas Justesen went head-to-head over two days in what ended in a one-stroke difference between the two Mr. Minnesota Golf candidates at the seven-team Detroit Lakes North/South tournament in Bemidji and Park Rapids May 21-22.

“Lukas and Ian had a shootout going,” Detroit Lakes head coach Bob Gorden said.

Both golfers were shooting under par on Friday in Bemidji, but made a couple mistakes, according to Gorden.

“Lukas was 3-under going into 18, one unlucky break and one bad shot and finished even,” he said.


Ian S.jpg
Ian Simonich, the 2020 Pine to Palm champion, added to a lengthy list of tournament victories Saturday in Park Rapids. Robert Williams / Tribune

Simonich, the 2020 Pine to Palm champion, also finished his round at even par and his Spuds led the Lakers in the team competition by six strokes (306-312) heading to Park Rapids for Saturday’s final round.

Simonich’s 3-under par round of 69 was one stroke better than Justesen’s 70 (-2) to clinch medalist honors at Headwaters.

Moorhead claimed the team title with a combined score of 601 with three Spuds in the top 10. Detroit Lakes and Fargo Davies also had three players in the top 10 each to tie for second place (623).

Davies made up seven strokes on the Lakers and leap-frogged Fargo North in the standings at Park Rapids to earn the share of second place.

Fellow Lakers’ Noah Meyer and Jake Green tied for 10th place with two round totals of 158.

Bemidji’s Nick Yavarow broke up the three-team run of top 10 individual finishes tying for fifth place.

“Overall, not a bad weekend, but showed a few little things players need to get better at coming down the stretch,” said Gorden.


A dozen different Lakers played the tournament with five of the six postseason roster spots filled heading into practice Monday.

Justesen, Green and Nick Tobkin have secured playoff spots as the top three DL golfers this season.

Two other players earned spots at the North-South tournament, leaving the last position up for grabs in a playoff at Monday’s practice. Gorden will announce the full team to his squad before publicly revealing the lineup for sections and state.

DL will finish the regular season at the Fargo Davies Invite at Rose Creek on Thursday, May 27, beginning at 9 a.m.

Sub-sections will be held at Headwaters in Park Rapids on Wednesday, June 2 with the Section 8AA tournament at Bemidji June 7-8.

Northwest Invitational, Bemidji Town and Country Club; Headwaters Golf Club


Teams: Moorhead 601, Detroit Lakes 623, Fargo Davies 623, Fargo North 643, Bemidji 663, Big Lake 667, Becker 683.

Top 10:

Medalist: Ian Simonich, MHD 72-69 141

2 Lukas Justesen, DL 72-70 142

T3 Joey Simonich, MHD 151

T3 Jayce Johnson, FD 151

T5 Nick Yavarow, BEM 153

T5 Sam Suppes, FD 153


T5 Joe Kortan, MHD 153

T8 Gabe Benson, FD 154

T8 Landon Olson, FN 154

T10 Noah Meyer, DL 158

T10 Jake Green, DL 158

T16 Connor Nelson, DL 161

19 Jack Syltie, DL 162

22 Nick Tobkin, DL 164


T26 Aiden Lunde, DL 168

28 Tommy Suckert, DL 169

29 Lawsen Justesen, DL 179

T32 Logan Schons, DL 173

T38 Brocke Burhans, DL 176

T47 Max Poole, DL 180

Read more stories by Robert Williams here .


Robert Williams has been a sports editor for Forum Communications in Perham and Detroit Lakes since 2011.
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