The 89th Pine to Palm is underway

Mid-Am, Seniors, Super Seniors and Flights qualifying rounds kick off the tournament Monday at Detroit Country Club.

The top 64 qualifying golfers after play is completed Wednesday, Aug. 11, will vie to have their name join the long list of champions on the Pine to Palm trophy, seen here on the first tee box at Detroit Country Club. Robert Williams / Tribune

The 89th Pine to Palm golf tournament got underway Monday morning with qualifying rounds being played in the three divisions of Mid-Am, Seniors and Super Seniors, along with Flights.

Defending champion Ian Simonich will be on the course as Championship division qualifying begins Tuesday and culminates in the top 64 seeds by end of play on Wednesday.

All qualifying will be completed by Wednesday evening with match play in all four divisions and flights beginning Thursday morning.

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Ian Simonich is the lone golfer in the field who can snap a long streak of no repeat champions at the Pine to Palm. The streak dates back to 1977 when five titles were shared by only two golfers Bill Israelson (1976-77) and Bill Von Wald (1973-75). Robert Williams / Tribune


Simonich will be joined by a host former Pine to Palm winners from the past two decades in the championship division including: Chris Swenson (2017), Ben Welle (2014), Connor Holland (2011), Todd Hillier (2010), Rick Kuhn (2005, 1991), Greg Melhus (2003), and Chad Skarperud (2000).

“Every hole is different," Simonich said in an interview with the Tribune this summer. "You can play so many holes differently and still have the same score. It’s a perfect match play course. I’m going to play the same way I’ve always played the course. I just go out there and rip driver all over the place. My strategy is hit driver everywhere and I can get up around the green and my short game usually takes care of it from there.”

Holland and Simonich are the two youngest-ever winners of the Pine to Palm. Simonich is trying to pull off the uncommon feat of winning back-to-back championships, something that has not been done since Bill Israelson won two straight in 1976-77, just prior to a three-year run by Bill Von Wald (1973-75).

For live updates daily tournament-wide, visit the Pine to Palm website .

Golf Genius app users can access the same information on phones by using the GGID: P2P89 at the login screen. The service is free of charge after downloading the application for Android or Apple.

For live updates, photographs, video coverage and more follow @DLakesSports on Twitter with coverage expanding daily as qualifying ends and match play leads to the next group of tournament champions.

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