By Byron Higgin
In high school Ben Derynck was Minneota’s No. 1 golfer as a freshman. He won titles, then lived the highlight of his career when he made the state tournament as a senior.
Through it all, Derynck looked up to Minneota grad Jesse Larson.
“He was my mentor. When I was a 12- and 13-year-old, he played with me. I was always better because of him,” said Derynck.
It was Larson’s guidance as a mentor that drove Derynck to become better.
Today, he’s the club champion at the Minneota Golf Club and now he’s taken junior Zac Corbin under his wing.
“I want to do the same for him that Jesse did for me,” said Derynck.
On Sunday Corbin was Dernyck’s caddy. “We break it down to the basics and it’s good for him and for me,” said the new club champion.
“I want to be a teacher someday but now I can give back,” he said.
He looked at Corbin and said, “I see it in him, just like Jesse saw it in me.”
Then Dernyck paused and said, “And you know the best part (about winning)?”
Saturday at the gas station I talked with my grandfather (Doug Konold).
Konold won the Minneota Club Championship in 1978. “I said to him, ‘You know what? I’m going to bring it (the championship) back into the family’.”
On Sunday Derynck did just that, shooting a 39 in the championship round and a total of 115 on 27 holes to beat Dale Kockelman and Jim Rolbiecki by four strokes and add his name to the honor roll of champions.
“I played my game, up and down, but I didn’t let those bad holes get to me,” he said.
“I think maybe grandpa will be proud of me,” Derynck added.
A night earlier Derynck played in the “Shootout,” just for fun. “I barely escaped, but it was a lot of fun and it got me juiced up for today,” he said.
His club championship came on the heels of what he called a horrible Minneota Open. Since then he’s been playing better and culminated his comeback with a championship.
The championship was a “long time in coming” for Derynck.
It’s been five years since Derynck won a tournament and he said, “Maybe it was ugly, but I got it.”
He added, “It made me feel like I was 17 again, winning conference championships.”
It’s been a “long time coming,” said Derynck, who “began coming to the golf club with his father.
Now he’s joined the elite.
What more can you ask?
OTHER MEN’S winners on Sunday were: First flight: Doug Spanton with an 82; Second Flight Brad Facile with an 84; Third Flight Brian Engler with an 82; Fourth Flight Brett Bennett with an 84 and Fifth Flight Dave Gorecki with an 89.
The seniors champion was a tie between Rod Stensrud and Bob Nelson. Each shot an 87.
Teigland captures 11th title
Dorie Teigland has won enough championships at the Minneota Golf Club to know one thing ... “This game is more mental than physical,” she said.
Teigland took her 11th title and ironically, escaped the rough Hole No. 8 that plagued her sister and one of her top compeititors, Missy Kockelman.
“She ran out of bounds on the eighth and ninth and I escaped,” Teigland said.
Teigland shot an 87 over 18 holes and with her 16 handicap won the low gross event with a net of 71. The low net title went to Judy Lanners, who shot 104 with her 39 handicap had a 65.
In the low gross event Heidi Boerboom was second with a 75 and Kockelman finished third with a 76.
In the low net tournament, Linda Fox was second with a 67. She fired a 104 with a 37 handicap.
As for Teigland, she’s been golfing at the course so long it’s hard to remember just how many years it’s been. “Thirty-nine,” maybe, she said.
“I don’t play as much as I used to. When I was in my early 30’s, that’s when I golfed my best.”
After Kockelman in the low gross tournament was Lonna Stensrud in fourth with Donita Bennett in fifth.
Championship: 1. Ben Derynck 75-39, 115; 2. Dale Kockelmen 76-43, 119 and Jim Rolbiecki, 81-38, 119; 4. Neil Depestel, 82-38, 120 and Adam Hoffman 80-40, 120.
Others: Jim Lanners 95-46, 141; Greg Steele 85-41,126; Doug Moen 84-41, 125; Brian Obe 80-42, 122; Ben VanKeulen 84-47, 131; Galen Lanners 84-44; 128; Keven Larson 83-40, 123; Brandon Hennen 81-40, 121; Aaron Sanow 81-41; 122; Randy Obe 80-46, 126; Jeremy Gossen 79-42, 121.
First Flight: 1. Doug Spanton 82; 2. Ralph Hagen 85; 3. Jeff Hammer 86; 4. Harlen Ulrich 87 and Rick Hennen 87.
Others: Bill Vlaminck 88; Shawn Boerboom 89; Alex Buysse 90; Jim VanHecke 91; Jerry Differding 94.
Second Flight: 1. Brad Facile 84; 2. Les Engler 86; 3. Luke Depestel and Joe Daniels and Trent Hennen 89.
Others: Wyatt Brusten 94; Mark Maeyaert 93; Jim Verschelde 99.
THIRD FLIGHT: 1. Brian Engler 82; 2.. Bob Brown and Joe Hennen 98; 4. Mike Hennen 93; 5. Steve Hennen 95.
Others: Gary Derynck 96; Ken VanKeulen 98.
FOURTH FLIGHT: 1. Brett Bennett 84; 2. Keith Baumgard and John Hennen 91; 4. Frank Bielinski and Nathen Pohlen 93.
Others: Harry Traen and Tom Myhre 110.
FIFTH FLIGHT: 1. Dave Gorecki 89; 2. Drew Bouman 99, 3. John Hauswedell 101; 4. Mike Ahmann 103; 5. Walter Carl and Eric Faris 106.
Others: Ted Schmitz 110; Wade Myhre 110 and Tony Esping 113.
Seniors: 1. Rod Stensrud 87 and Bob Nelson 87; 3. Lyall Gislason and Larry Fox, Sr. 91; 5. Walt Strangman 93.
Others: Ron VanKeulen 94; Ed Buysse 104; Arnie Bot 105; Gary Becker 107; Ernie Hennen 96.
1. Dorie Teigland 87; 2. Heidi Boerboom 91; 3. Missy Kockelman 92; 4. Lonna Stensrud 93; 5. Donita Bennett 96.
1. Judy Lanners 104-39, 65; 2. Linda Fox 104-37, 67; 3. Hope Daniels 104-33, 71; 4. Abby Thostenson 98-26, 72 and Kelly Hennen 103-31, 72.
Others: Connie Kockelman 113; Sandy Vershelde 106; Nancy Buysse 100; Holly Fitzpatrick 128; Amber Crowley 104; Christa Mouwman 145; Cari Pohlen 118; Elaine Buysse 98; Andrea Christenson 120; Pam Hennen 101.