THE BIRCHMONT: Low Scores Continue To Abound On Final Day Of Stroke Play Qualifying

Another quality day of scoring locked up the match play flights across all divisions of the 97th annual Birchmont on Tuesday at the Bemidji Town & Country Club.

The lowest round of qualifying was posted Tuesday in the men’s division by Moorhead native Lucas Johnson, who posted an impressive 8-under 64 to capture medalist honors at 10-under. Bemidji State senior golfer Brandon Nelson finished just a stroke behind at 9-under, among 27 players who finished under par during qualifying. Even par remained the championship flight cut line, with Rylin Petry, Tim Skarperud, Matt Haugstad, Brennan Hockman, and Zach Hinschberger advancing from an eight-man playoff for the final five spots.

The women’s division completed its lone round of qualifying in the middle of the day, paced by its four-time returning champion. Despite already having a spot in the championship flight secured as the winner of the last three years, Emily Israelson still carded three birdies on her way to a round of 1-under 71. Riley Crothers and Lily Bredemeier each posted at 75, and Anna Graveline and Claire Haakenson secured the last two spots of 16 in the bracket with scores of 88.

A second straight round in red figures helped Troy Johnson to capture the medalist position in the men’s executive division, as he finished at 3-under for the qualifying after firing a 71 on day two. No playoff was necessary for the top 16, as Patrick Arnason and Mitch Deere landed on the cut line of 12-over.

There was no catching Mark Lindberg in the men’s senior division, as he followed up his first round total of 66 with an impressive 5-under 67 to finish 12 shots clear of Jerry Nick to lead qualifying. Thomas Daman, Rick Passolt, and Jason Novak advanced from a four-player playoff for the last three spots at 13-over par.

Another golfer found red figures to lead the way in the lone qualifying round in the master’s division. Mike Antonovich’s 4-under round of 68 paced the field, seven shots better than Jack Seiberlich.

All championship flights except the junior 12U division will begin match play on Wednesday with tee times throughout the day. Letter flights in several divisions will not begin play until Thursday.