With three birdies in the final nine holes, Springfield native Johnny Larson held off Redwood’s own Eric Anderson and Dean Wilson to capture the 79th Annual Palmer Kise Invitational held July 13-14 at the Redwood Falls Golf Club. The win was the seventh for Larson who edged Anderson by firing a final nine three-under 32 to win by a single stroke (135-136).
Following day one, Anderson held a one shot lead over both Larson and Wilson (68s) by firing a smooth two-under 67.
Veteran and past champion Pat Smith rounded out the final foursome just four shots back with a first round 71.
Anderson would shake off the nerves with a nice birdie out of the fairway bunker on the par-4 10th to open up his round Sunday.
Larson countered that with a birdie of his own and essentially a match-play event would ensue between the duo the final 17 holes.
Anderson would go on to par the next eight holes to fire a one-under 33 on the front nine to lead both Larson and Wilson (35s) by three shots heading into the final nine.
After the turn, Larson picked up some momentum with a birdie on the par-4 first hole and crept closer with another birdie on the par-4 third. Anderson and Wilson continued to make pars, but Larson tied things up with his third birdie of the round on the par-4 fifth hole and took the lead on six when he parred and Anderson bogeyed.
Up one with three to go, Larson and Anderson would both par the seventh and eighth holes to head to the ninth with Larson leading by a shot. The duo each found trouble off the tee on the par-5 ninth but would both manage to hit the green in regulation.
Anderson found himself needing to hole a 50-footer to tie the match and made an outstanding putt, but it would slide just right at the end for a tap-in par. Larson would then hole a two-footer to close things out with a final round 67, and Anderson closed with a 69.
Wilson would finish with a solid two-over 71 to finish third, four shots back. Levi Hauser fired a second day 68 to place fourth at 141, and John Boney was fifth with a 147.
Legend Mike Smith shook off an opening round 77 to fire a 71 Sunday to tie Eric Means for the President’s Flight title at 148. Ned Blankenship edged Jason Kise by two shots to win the Captain’s Flight (157-159). Jeff Evenson had a strong showing to win the Senior Championship Flight with a 139 (71-68), and three-time champion Ron Kise won the Senior President’s Flight at 158. Mike McNeil would claim the First Flight over Robert Deming (156-159). The Second Flight went to Dean Penk as he held off Brian Meagher (168-172) and Jamey Cumming rolled to the CLR Flight title with a 171.