Minnesota Golf Association

A Steady Peterson Slides into Lead at 33rd MGA Mid-Amateur

August 31, 2020

By Nick Hunter
  DULUTH, Minn. – Defending Minnesota Golf Association Men’s Player of the Year Trent Peterson bounced back from a rough start by carding three birdies over his final eight holes Sunday at Ridgeview Country Club to begin the 33rd MGA Mid-Amateur Championship with a 1-over 71.
Peterson, a two-time winner of the event, carded three birdies over his final eight holes again Monday at Northland Country Club to post an even par 71 to take a one-stroke lead to Tuesday’s final round, in search of his third title in four seasons.
“Today was going to be difficult—it’s a tough course and it was windy out. I got off to a bad start yesterday and was happy to get a few strokes back at the end. Not many people know the course really well, so my plan was to make pars and just get through it,” Peterson said Monday. “You have to give yourself chances and stay below the hole, which I didn’t do very well the first 10 holes today.
“The back nine was pretty stress-free. I was giving myself uphill birdie putts and keeping it below the hole. I had two three-putts and lagging was not good, but the putter was good and didn’t miss any short putts. I was happy with how I hit the driver today—it was really consistent.”
When the final round gets underway Tuesday at Northland Country Club, Peterson will have another two-time winner on his heels in Troy Johnson, as well as Andy Jacobson and Joe Conzemius, who each finished 36 holes of play at 2-over 143.
“It won’t be easy, but if I can hit the driver like I did today and stay below the hole, I'll be okay,” Peterson said. “It’s so easy to get aggressive and want to go for it, you need to dial it back. A 25-footer up the hill is a lot easier than the 5-footer snappy thing above the hole.”
After carding a pair of bogeys over his first seven holes Monday, Peterson got back on track by sinking a 25-footer for birdie at the eighth before a three-putt bogey put him to the back nine at 3-over for the championship.
Leaving his approach short of the uphill 10th hole led to a second straight bogey for Peterson, but he bounced back by dropping a pair of 12-footers for birdie at the 11th and 13th holes to get back to 1-over for the round. Leaving himself with a difficult second shot at the par-3 17th after missing the green right, Peterson flopped to within inches to save par before closing out his second round with a 15-foot birdie putt at the last to grab the 36-hole lead at 1-over 142.
Peterson claimed his first victory at the event by making birdie on the final hole of the 2017 championship at Southview Country Club to edge Jacobson by one stroke. He successfully defended his title the following season at The Legends Club, defeating Justin Burleson by two strokes.
Peterson looks to become the fourth player with at least three wins at the championship and first since Sammy Schmitz won his third championship in 2016. John Spreiter claimed three titles in a nine-year span (1996, 2002, 2004), while John Harris owns the most championship victories with five (1998, 1990-92, 1999).
Posting one of the day’s lower rounds at either course in cool and windy conditions Monday, Jacobson will look for redemption from his runner-up finish to Peterson in 2017, hoping to claim his first state championship victory since his win at the Lakeland Invitational in 2018.
“I’m hitting it well and I’ve felt comfortable on both of these courses. I really enjoy playing at Northland—it’s right up my alley,” Jacobson said. “Tomorrow I’m going to have to play solid golf because Trent always does and I’ll need some putts to fall.”
Jacobson posted a 1-over 72 during Sunday’s opening round at Northland and quickly got to work with a birdie at the first on Monday at Ridgeview, rolling in a 5-footer to get to even par for the championship before carding three bogeys over his next eight holes.
“After a birdie on the first hole, I thought I was off to the races, but quickly realized that course was playing pretty tough,” Jacobson said Monday. “A little disappointing finish because I had some makeable putts, but all in all, I’m pretty happy with how I scored”
Jacobson sank a 5-footer at the par-5 13th and two-putted for birdie at the par-5 14th to move to 1-over for the championship, but a three-putt bogey at the 16th would drop him into a three-way tie for second with Johnson and Conzemius at 2-over 143.
Johnson, who earned his first win at the event in 2010 at Minneapolis Golf Club and hoisted the trophy again in 2014 at Chaska Town Course. Following a 1-under 71 Sunday, Johnson got off to a rocky start during the second round at Ridgeview Monday by playing his first seven holes in 4-over. He would find his footing to card a lone birdie over his final 11 holes to shoot 3-over 73.
Conzemius, who carded one of three rounds below par during the opening round Sunday, began his second round on the 10th tee at Ridgeview and carded three bogeys against one birdie to turn in even par for the championship. Stepping back with a double-bogey at the fourth and a bogey at the sixth, Conzemius finished strong with a birdie on his final hole to post a 74.
The final round of the 33rd MGA Mid-Amateur Championship is slated to begin at 8:20 a.m. at Northland Country Club.

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