Zeb PrairieBen Derynck watched the ball in flight and ended up runner-up in the tournament.  Brian Obe hit the ball down the fairway. He won the First Flight Championship at the Wynston Boe Tournament. The congratulatory handshake included: (left to right) Charlie Seitzer, Cory Skogrand, Zeb Prairie and Ben Derynck.

Zeb Prairie of Cottonwood wins Wynston Boe golf title

Zeb Prairie of Cottonwood won the Wynston Boe Golf Tournament in Minneota on Sunday by shooting a 35 on the final nine and a 111 overall. He beat second place Ben Derynck of Worthington (a Minneota native). He had a 116.

In third was Aaron Sanow of Minneota with a 117 and a 37 on the final nine holes. He tied Charlie Seitzer, who shot a 40 on the final night and a total of 117. Others in the finals were Cory Skogrand at 119; Troy Deutz at 125; Jeremy Gossen at 129; David Kockelman at 123 and Brian Francis at 130.

"I've been playing this tournament ever since I graduated from high school and this is the first one I've won," said the insurance man from North Star insurance in Cottonwood.

Defending champion Jesse Larson did not compete in the tournament this year and the attendance was down from the mid-70s for golfers to about 43 golfers this year. Winning the Presidents Flight was Travis Obe with a 121 over Mark Spanton's 121 with Lei Thonvivong third at 125 and Neal DePestel fourth at 127.

Other winners were: First Flight: Brian Obe

Second Flight: Keith Zelinski

Third Flight: Aaron Gravely.

One of the really popular golfing events the last couple of years has been the “Ryder Cup” competition between Minneota and Cottonwood golfers. But this year, “Minneota couldn’t get enough golfers on the date we could play so we’re not having it,” said Zeb Prairie of Cottonwood.

So instead, he went out and won the Wynston Boe Memorial Golf Tournament at Countryside Golf Course on Sunday.

“I thought we had to bring some hardware home to Cottonwood,” Prairie laughed. He got the last laugh when he stroked a 35 on the final nine, ended with a score of 111 over 27 holes and beat second place finisher Ben Derynck by five strokes. Prairie and Cory Skogrand were tied at 76 after 18 holes with Derynck and newcomer Charlie Seitzer tied one stroke back at 77. But starting at the fourth hole everything began to swing in Prairie’s favor.

He’d two-bogeyed the first hole but came back for a nice chip shot from the edge of the green on hole No. 4 to birdie the hole and take the lead. He got one more birdie, hitting three strokes on three holes and four strokes on four holes on the final nine. When the dust cleared, nearest competitor Derynck had to hit out of the rough on No. Eight and he couldn’t recover. “I’ve played this tournament ever since high school and as the years went by somebody always beat me,” said Prairie.

But not this time. “I struggled on the first nine, got better on the second night and played really well on the final nine,” Prairie said of his performance. While attendance was down from past years — the biggest factor may have been the fact Jesse Larson wasn’t among the golfers. “I thought, oh boy, that creates a big hole and maybe I have a chance,” said Skogrand, who is from Marshall.

He gave it a run, finishing eight strokes back at 119. “Without Larson everyone had a chance. But Zeb is a fine golfer and he deserved to win,” said Skogrand.

“It’s hard to find a better tournament,” said Prairie. This was his first title. He did tie for third his first year out of high school, but has always wanted to secure a crown at Minneota. The course was in pretty good shape on Sunday.

“Where the sprinklers got it the course was great. There were some hard spots, but you expect that,” said Prairie. He admits the birdie he chipped in on the fourth hole, “Felt good. It was a big relief,” he said. The temperatures were kind to golfers on Sunday — cooling down some from the nightmarish hot and muggy weather on Saturday.

The numbers of golfers were way down on Sunday, causing the tournament to end a little sooner than in past years. But it didn’t matter. Zeb Prairie had the title he’s been desiring since he left high school. And Minneota had another successful tournament.

HOLE-IN-ONE During the play on Saturday, which doesn’t count toward the tournament, Ashley Obe stroked a “Hole-In-One” on Hole No. 3.

Charlie Seitzer chipped his way onto the green. Staff photo by Byron Higgin.

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