Pro-Am tournament and Skins Game a success at Birch Ridge

  • By Zac Cowan
  • Thursday, July 13, 2017 12:32am
  • Sports

Monday, July 10, was an amazing day of golf with our 2017 Pro-Am and All-Alaska Skins Game! This year for the first time since its inception in 1997, we have a new title sponsor. Like a good neighbor, Nancy Field (I actually live behind her office) with State Farm stepped up last minute to make our skins game the biggest it’s been in at least five years! Not only was this an amazing thing to do because she is my mother-in-law, she would have done it anyways because she believes in this town and the people who live here.

Thank you Nancy for your continued support in all things.

On to the results! We had 13 teams of professionals and amateurs for a total of 52 golfers enjoy the course and the partly sunny conditions. We had team competitions, individual gross and net payouts and lots of side games.

There was a tight battle for first place in the pro division, but in the end Rich Lundahl shot an even par-70 to win over Rob (Nelly) Nelson by 1. There was a three-way tie for third with Aaron Dexheimer, Hunter Blake and Brandon Kaiser with +2 72s.

The amateurs had it out as well, with Greg Sanders coming in with a 72, beating out Max Dye and his 75. Third went to Darell Jelsma with a 76. Net went to the only junior golfer in the field, Jakob Brown winning a scorecard playoff and scoring a net 67. Earl Matthis got second and third went to Tyler Yamada, with a net 70.

The team competition consisted of taking one gross score and one net score from each hole. First place went to Aaron Dexheimer, Scott Woodland, Trey Miller and Eddie Sibolboro with a score of 128. Losing out by one was our own Bill Engberg, Jake Eubank, Tyler Yamada and Darell Jelsma. Tying for third were teams of Rob Nelson, Heath Martin, Tommy Pettit, and Greg Sanders, and Rich Lundahl, Tom Wagoner, Ward Smith and Marcus Dolejsi with scores of 131. Ultimately, Nelson’s team won a scorecard playoff to take third place payouts.

There were eight skins during the pro am, each worth $80. There are as follows: No. 2 with a birdie, Joe Pahl, No. 3 and No. 5 with birdies, Aaron Dexheimer, No. 7 with a birdie, Rich Lundahl, No. 9 and No. 13 with a birdie and an eagle, Beau Forrest, No. 14 with a birdie, Tyler Yamada and No. 17 with a birdie, George Collum. Closest to the pin went to Beau Forrest on 6, Jim Triplett on 8, Tyler Yamada on 15 and George Collum on 17. Long drive went to Aaron Dexheimer and Marcus Dolejsi.

Now on to the Skins Game. With the addition of Nancy’s contribution and funding from the Birch Ridge Golf Association and entry fees, our skins pot grew to $5,000. Each hole was worth a set amount, starting at $300 for holes 1 and 2, $500 for holes 3 through 6, $700 for 7 and 8 and $1,000 on hole 9. We went with two-man teams based on ranking from the pro-am. Teams were — Rich Lundahl and Bill Engberg, Rob Nelson and Trevis Kordus, Aaron Dexheimer and Zac Cowan, Hunter Blake and Becky Henderson, Chris Wright and Brandon Kaiser and Beau Forrest and George Collum.

It started out business as usual, with hole No. 1 being pushed with a birdie, No. 2 and No. 3 with pars, and then came No. 4. There were two putts on the green for birdie with Beau Forrest and Hunter Blake. Beau was first to putt, and he rolled it in the heart from about 18 feet. Hunter’s putt came next and barely missed the edge. With Beau’s make, he and George drew first blood, making $1,600 with the first three holes carrying over to No. 4. Hole No. 5 was pushed with narrow birdie misses, No. 6 and No. 7 were pushed with standard pars and the next wound was struck on No. 8. Zac Cowan hit a 9-iron from 165 yards to about 12 feet, the only tee shot that saw the green. That didn’t mean the other teams were out though, as Beau Forrest chipped from the grass bunker in front of the green, and with some stroke of luck (good or bad depending on who you were), the ball hit the pin with almost no speed, but didn’t fall. Rich Lundahl was next, chipping from short left of the green. He saw what Beau’s chip did, so he pulled the pin. The chip looked great, but came up just a couple inches short. Next, Aaron Dexheimer stepped up to the 12-footer, and, after some deliberation with his partner, rolled it into the center, winning himself and Zac $2,400 and being the big winners of the skins game. But there was still No. 9 to go, worth $1,000. There were three birdie putts on the green, and all came up short. As we went to No. 10 for sudden death, it came down to two birdie tries. Beau Forrest rolled his first, and it looked good, but at the last second caught the edge and stayed out. Brandon Kaiser, after Chris Wright hit his second shot to about 15 feet above the hole, made a solid stroke and the birdie, earning them $1,000 and closing out the evening.

It was a great event that had plenty of strong competition. Thank you to all who played! Check out some pictures taken by my beautiful wife, Anna!

Huge thank you to my family and staff who worked tirelessly to make this event a success!

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