By Byron Higgin
Mascot Sports Editor
“This is what I like to see — two former No. 1 golfers going against each other,” said Ralph Hagen.
Both Ben Derynck and Travis Obe were former top golfers for Hagen’s high school team and Sunday they squared off for the Countryside Golf Course men’s title.
On hole No. 4 Derynck rolled in a birdie putt, then “I got down for a bogie and went back to my old mindset and went hole-by-hole and tried to save one, or two (strokes) and shaved one off on the fifth hole,” said Derynck. That’s when Obe went into the woods and lost a couple of strokes. “I got a couple back,” Derynck said.
"I had my game on from there, pretty much,” Derynck said as he played smart golf and coasted to the win with a 116.
“Without the double (two-point loss in the woods), a triple bogey on six, I could have been right in it,” said Obe.
He added, “I just missed out. But there’s always next year.”
Obe never recovered, finishing third at 121 as Aaron Sanow took second with a 120.
As for Sanow, “I got within four strokes. Second place isn’t bad,” he said.
Obe had a one-stroke lead at 77 with Derynck at 78 and Sanow at 79 as they entered the championship flight.
“I wasn’t going to try and do anything fancy,” Derynck said. Normally, seven, eight and nine holes are not the toughest holes — but Sunday a heavy wind made seven and eight very difficult. “I played it poor the first two rounds, I didn’t have my best swings the second round, but I got a 39 and followed it up with a 38 on the final nine.”
“As far as I see it the competition got even better from last year and any of the guys had a shot. But mother nature just took control today and separated us.”
“I look forward to this tournament. It’s the biggest thing for me,” Derynck said.
“I golfed five or six others but I looked forward to this one. I was able to get back on the links for the past two weeks and I had my best swings last night, and that’s what I needed,” Derynck said.
ALSO WINNING flight championships were Doug Spanton with an 82; Les Engler with an 87; Dale Verschelde with an 86 and Bubba Gorecki with a 91.
1. Ben Derynck, 116
2. Aaron Sanow, 120
3. Travis Obe, 121
1. Doug Spanton, 82
2. Harlen Ulrich, 87.
1. Les Engler, 87
2. Jim Verschelde, 88
1. Dale Verschelde, 86
2. Mike Ahmann, 90
1. Bubba Gorecki, 91
2. Frank Bieleuski
Women’s top golfer didn’t take crown
In an ironic twist of fate, the best score didn’t win the women’s title at Minneota on Sunday.
“I had an 86 and Dorie Teigland an 88,” said Elaine Buysse.
“But she was in the championship flight and I was in the First Flight,” said Buysse.
So Teigland repeated as the women’s championship.
“I guess that’s just the way it goes sometimes,” said Buysse.
Missy Kockelman took second place with a 90.
The First Flight title did go to Buysse while Andrea Christensen won the second flight with a 107.
1. Dorie Teigland, 88
2. Missy Kockelman, 90
1. Elaine Buysse, 86
1. Andrea Christensen, 107