THE BIRCHMONT: Qualifying Concludes As Event Shifts To Match Play

With continued good scoring and impressively low cut lines in several divisions, stroke play qualifying for match play flights finished at the 96th Birchmont on Tuesday. The event now shifts into the match play format, with golfers going head-to-head in knockout competition beginning today.

Former Bemidji State golfer Cody Cook led eleven men’s division players who finished under par after 36 holes of qualifying, shooting a blistering 4-under 68 on Tuesday to finish at 7-under 137 for medalist honors. In one of the best qualifying sessions of the last two decades, the cut for the men’s championship flight finished at 4-over 148, with eight golfers finishing on that score and no playoff needed to complete the field of 32.

In the women’s division, last year’s runner-up Abbie Kelm (Bemidji) posted a co-medalist round of 74 with Detroit Lakes’ Madison Herzog to lead the way in the division’s lone round of qualifying. Bemidji State golfers Lauren Stockmoe (81), Taylor Offerdahl (84, also of Bemidji), and Kalley Wagner (84) also made the field of 16, with everybody now chasing three-time and defending champion Emily Israelson as match play starts today.

The men’s executive saw Steve Well of Excelsior emerge as the medalist after a 1-under round of 71 helped him post a 3-over 147. Bemidji golfers Ekren Miller, Chris Hennum, Mitch Deere, Travis Kohlrusch, and Ron Laituri were among those to qualify for the 16-player championship flight.

In the senior men’s division, Rick Passolt’s even par round of 72 helped him to a medalist finish of 3-over 147 to lead the way into the match play rounds, with Bemidji’s Scott Hinners, Paul Daman, and Russ Moen also making the cut. In the masters field, California’s Jim Kennelly posted a 74 to top the 16 qualifiers, who also featured Bemidji’s Bob Paine, Paul Welle, Jeff Nelson, and Steve Fogelson, as well as Walker’s Bob Ostlund.

Match play rounds teed off this morning, with the losing golfers in today’s rounds dropping into their flight’s consolation brackets. Results and scores can be followed on the Birchmont website HERE.