An abundance of red numbers accompanied a highly impressive opening day of qualifying in the 97th edition of The Birchmont on Monday at the Bemidji Town & Country Club.
Despite a hot day of play and late afternoon thunderstorm threat, the men’s division posted blistering scores to set one of the lowest early cut line standards in Birchmont history. A remarkable 37 golfers shot a round of even par or better, led by a pair of 6-under 66 scores from Nate Adams of Fargo and Cody Cook of Hawley. The logjam of quality scores has established the opening round championship cut line for the top 32 players squarely at even par 72 heading into tomorrow’s second and final day of qualifying.
The men’s executive division was led by two-time winner Joe Burgess of Woodbury, who posted 4-under 68 to go two strokes better than Troy Johnson. A cut line of 77 was established in round one, with the top 16 advancing to the championship match play flight following a second round of stroke play qualifying tomorrow.
Another round of 66 was produced on the first day of scoring in the men’s senior field, courtesy of Coppell, TX native Mark Lindberg. A score of 78 was the early cut marker as the golfers vie for 16 championship flight spots entering tomorrow’s second qualifying day.
Both junior divisions played their only rounds of qualifying on Monday morning and evening. The 17U division had the first tee times of the day and were paced by the 2-over 74 of Fosston’s Tony Carlin. Bemidji’s Ryan Daman and Nick Yavarow both advanced to the championship flight, and a round of 77 from Zach Skarperud and Landon Miller was enough for both to be the last two qualifiers for the eight-player main flight.
A nine-hole score of 34 was enough for Chaska’s Logan Motzko to take qualifying medalist honors for a second-straight year in the 12U division. Bemidji’s Graham Fish, Jackson Fogelson, Beckett Grand, and Logan Brink were also among the eight first flight qualifiers.
In addition to the second qualifying rounds for the men’s, men’s executive, and men’s senior divisions, the women’s and masters fields will play their lone rounds of qualifying tomorrow with the top 16 scores advancing to the championship flight. Match play flights will tee off on Wednesday.
High Noon will be live from the Bemidji Town & Country Club noon-1pm each weekday this week on KBUN-FM 104.5 and kbunsportsradio.com. Live coverage of the men’s championship will be Saturday at approximately 1:45pm on 104.5 and online.
Comprehensive scoring and tee times, as well as event information, are available at the official website of The Birchmont.