Firing a sizzling back-nine 32, past champion Andy Jacobson fired a Sunday best three-under 67 to hold off a strong field and claim his third Palmer Kise Invitational title at the Redwood Falls Golf Club held July 11-12.
Jacobson – who also claimed titles in 2009 and 2010 – was three shots back of first day leader Johnny Larson (68) and tied for fifth after an opening round 71, but he would pull away from the field Sunday in the final nine holes.
Redwood’s Dean Wilson (70) and Eric Anderson (72), Willmar’s Danny Anderson (70), Matt Gorans (71) and Peter Hannig (72) along with Olivia’s Brett Benson (70) were all in the mix heading into Sunday’s final round.
An uncharacteristic triple-bogey seven to start the round for Larson – the invitational’s winningest player – instantly catapulted the field into a virtual tie, and things got interesting from there.
Benson had a pair of birdies on 14 and 16 along with one bogey (12) to fire a front-nine 34 and would take a two-shot lead on the field with nine holes to play.
Hannig made an early move on the front as well, going three-under on the first eight holes with birdies on 14, 16 and 17 before a double-bogey on 18 forced him to settle for a front nine 34 to sit two shots back.
Jacobson would finish with one bogey (11) and one birdie (16) to finish with a 35 and was also two shots back.
Larson struggled to a front nine 39 but would join Wilson (37) and Gorans (36) just three shots back, while Danny Anderson (38) sat four back.
Jacobson – playing in the second to last foursome – would set the tone early on the back nine, as he birdied one, parred two and birdied three to take a one shot lead on Benson who went bogey, par, par to open the back.
Wilson also made a quick move on the back, going par, birdie, birdie to sit just one back of Jacobson with six holes to go.
Jacobson and Wilson – who was playing in the last group – would battle it out with Jacobson eventually leading by two strokes with two holes to play.
Jacobson just missed a birdie putt on six and then stuck an iron shot tight on the par-3 seventh but missed the short putt.
On the par-4 eighth, Jacobson made a huge up-and-down from off the left side of three green, and Wilson would make a birdie to cut the lead to just one heading to the par-5 ninth hole.
Danny Anderson and Hannig both hung around, but a bogey by Anderson on the sixth hole proved costly and a double by Hannig on the eighth took him out of contention as well.
Jacobson – needing to make a birdie to force Wilson to have to make eagle to tie – would get up and down from just off the front of the green to do just that.
Wilson – knowing he needed an eagle – would hit his second shot just left of the green and down the hillside and would ultimately bogey to give Jacobson a three-shot margin of victory.
Jacobson would finish with a two-under 138 total to edge Wilson (141), Danny Anderson (142) and Benson (143). Hannig and Larson would tie for fifth at 144.
Tim Smith (151) held off brother Mike Smith (152) and Brett Mathiowetz (152) for the President’s Flight crown, and John Jenniges (158) rallied for a second day 75 to edge Taylor Hengel (159) and Matt Johnson (161) in the Vice President’s Flight.
The Master’s Flight (55 and over) went to Steve Walling (154) who held off Todd Bergeth (158).
The 80th playing of the Redwood Falls Invitational – now known as the Palmer Kise Invitational after the legendary Palmer Kise who won the first event back in 1939 – proved to be a big success with a strong field and great weather and playing conditions.
Club manager Ryan Fernelius had the tournament back to its old form and new Superintendent John Wodash had the course looking outstanding for the event.
Long-time player and contributor Jim Weinzetl also highlighted the weekend with a champagne tribute Saturday night as he celebrated playing in his 50th invitational.
– Editor’s note: The Palmer Kise Invitational begins on hole #10 and finishes on hole #9 meaning the two nines are played backwards.