DETROIT LAKES — For much of this past summer, Fargo natives Greg Melhus and Grady Meyer played more than a few rounds of golf in the area, much of it for fun.
But there was much more riding on the duo’s round Wednesday at the Detroit Country Club, with the 82nd Pine to Palm medalist honors on the line.
On this day, though, the battle was won by Meyer, who kept the Pine to Palm’s medalist laurels in the University of Minnesota family with his 8-under-par two-round score of 134.
Melhus and Moorhead native Ben Welle shared runner-up honors with 6-under 136 scores during the two-day qualifying rounds played under almost perfect sunny and warm conditions.
But for the second year in a row, a Gophers golfer will have won the medalist honors, after now-graduated Minnesota golfer Jon Trasamar took the medalist honors and then the championship in 2013.
Trasamar has since turned pro and is playing on the Dakotas Tour.
“It was just like playing in Fargo with Greg (Melhus) and there wasn’t much pressure or anything. It was just a relaxed round of golf,” Meyer said. “We lost a few
U of M guys playing the tournament this year, so the ones here had to step it up.
“Now, I’m just looking to take it match by match.”
Meyer led by a stroke over Melhus after Tuesday’s first day of qualifying with a 7-under 64, thus matching the two together in the same group.
Melhus, who was the 2003 Pine to Palm champion and earned spots in a bevy of semifinal matches, was eyeing that medalist honor simply for one reason.
“It’s the only piece of silver I haven’t won out here, so it’s somewhat of a bummer I didn’t get it this year,” said Melhus, who is playing in his 20th Pine to Palm. “I was keeping track of it all day. I have played a lot of golf with Grady this summer, so I was trying to track him down.
“Going into 17, I had a bad swing, and it cost me. That’s the way it goes.”
With Trasamar not back defending his title, Meyer will now take the top seed, while Welle (who is a sophomore on the University of Kansas men’s golf team) and Melhus will be the second and third seeds.
Will Holmgren of Corcoran, Minn., had a big boost to his score on the eighth hole Wednesday, after draining a hole-in-one to key his 2-under 69, which followed a 72 Tuesday for a final 141.
The par-3, 174-yard shot landed just left of the pin, but from Holmgren’s view, the ball looked as if it rolled off the green.
“It landed just left of pin, and I thought it went over the green, and I didn’t react to it,” Holmgren said. “But there were some people up on the green who started cheering.”
Championship match play begins at 12:15 p.m., with tee times running through to 2:21 p.m. on the first tee at the Detroit Country Club.
Two-day qualifying totals
1, Grady Meyer 134. 2 (tie), Ben Welle; Greg Melhus 136. 4 (tie), Jacob Montplaisir; Matt Rachey 138. 6 (tie), Trenton Olson; Dylan Baker; Thomas Strandemo; Chris Swenson; Max Rosenthal 139. 11, Lucas Gervais 140. 12 (tie), Bill Carlson; Robert Reuter; Kyle Scanlon; Brock Ellingson; Will Holmgren; Michael Kosiek; Alex Kline; Andrew Passanante, 141.
20 (tie), David Elliott; Riley Johnson; Rick Kuhn; Erik Weiss; Jake Wherley; Ben Mallow; Robbie Foster, 142. 27 (tie), Michael Melhus; Dominic Kieffer, 143. 29 (tie), Andrew Israelson; Ryan Vincelli; Peter Jones; Taylor Cavanagh; John Sund; Todd Hillier; Pat Deitz; Mason Kennedy; Bennett Schroeder; Keaton Lausch, 144.
39 (tie), Jack D. Elliott; Daniel Sayler; Jack Holmgren; Mark Robinson; Dakota Clark; Michael Greenberg; Alex Case; Matt Bekkerus; Connor Holland, 145. 48 (tie), Adam Gronaas; Sean Krall; Mike Balzer; Zach Israelson; Ryan Steinert; Tanner Lane; Lukas Davison, 146. 55 (tie), Coy Papachek; Marc Vincelli; Cade Montplaisir; Scott Nowak; Jake Witham; Chris Harris, 147.
61 (tie), David Trett; Matt Peterson; Trevor Swangler; Jacob Dehne; Sam Palmisano; Mitch Scrimgeour; Payton Johnson; Jordie Siverson; Drew Massey; Robbie Stocker; Tanner Kretchman; Jade Royston; Nick Myhre; Jamie Lessard; Josh Steen, 148. 76 (tie), Mox Gunderson; Larry Montplaisir; Zach Kappes; Charlie Duensing; Robert J. Wagner, 149.
81 (tie), Logan Palmer; Hunter Halvorson; Kyle Jandro; Natalie Roth; Anthony Molzahn; Tim Duffey; Trenton Schwehr, 150. 88 (tie), Steve Randall; Matt Rubis; Ben Sorenson; Matt Johnson; Rob Goff; Dakota Waverek; Corey Schommer; Guillermo Gonzales 151. 96 (tie), Ryan Ames; Brian Urness; Patrick Larkin; Dan Cavanagh; Patrick Traynor; Jack Kluge; Alex Gabriel; Cole Johnson; Dan Schiller 153.
105 (tie), A.J. Bates; Spencer Hilde; Jake Pearson; Alex Koopmeiners; Hailey Boner 154. 110 (tie), Austin Rusness; Aaron Smith; Hunter Thorsen; Nicholas Stavn; Brady Robertson; Adam McArthur 155. 116 (tie), Karter Smith; Dane Sethre-Hofstad; Andrew Strand; Shane Ost; Tyler Olsgaard 156. 121 (tie), Brian Halvorson; Casey Stavenger; Max Pfeiffer; Grant Rahja 157.
125 (tie), Tyler Holland; Erick Galt; Nick Evin; Sarah Storandt 158. 129 (tie), Jayme Gronneberg; Shay Ridl; Sam Goral; Jon Rubis 159. 133 (tie), Grayson Klein; Zach Sklebar; Tyler Nelson; Jared Cowden; Aaron Sparby; Sam Hendricks 160. 139 (tie), Justin Johnson; Nic Wagner; Korey Lorenz 161.
142, Tyler Schlotfedt 162. 143 (tie), Logan Kranstover; Jacob Geritz 163. 145 (tie), Todd Sinner; Andrew Cook 164. 147, Blake Schwab 165. 148, David Vaughan 166. 149, Skylar Belgrade 167. 150, Tyler Hagen 168. 151, Steve Rosenfeldt 173. Russ Newman WD (79 in first round)