Minnesota Golf Association

Baron and Wohlers Fire 64 at MGA Four-Ball, Trail Christensen Cousins by Five

September 8, 2020

By Nick Hunter
  HUTCHINSON, Minn. – Pairing up for the first time this week, Topher Baron and Bradley Wohlers used a strong start of four birdies and an eagle through seven holes to combine for a 7-under 64 to lead Tuesday’s field at the 59th Minnesota Golf Association Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Crow River Golf Club.
Baron and Wohlers will enter Wednesday’s final round five strokes behind the cousin duo of David and Michael Christensen, who fired a tournament-record 12-under 59 during their opening round Monday.
“Mike and Dave have game at another level that a lot of people don’t have,” Baron said of the first-round leaders Tuesday. “Hats off to them. It’s fun to have guys like that in the amateur circuit that can shoot numbers like that."
“Coming into today, I was just hoping to play well and put ourselves in position to get second place. That’s basically what we’re playing for,” Wohlers joked. “Today wasn’t easy because it was freezing and the wind was blowing, so for us to get to [7-under] today, blew my expectations out of the water.”  
Following a Wohlers birdie from eight feet on the opening hole, Baron and Wohlers played their next six holes at 4-under, stringing together three birdies and an eagle.
“The turning point for us was the eagle on six and then I made a long putt I shouldn’t have made on seven,” Wohlers said. “The front nine we made some putts and the back nine we just held on. We couldn’t really get the birdies to go on the back.”
“We were 6-under through seven, so we told ourselves to keep it going and don’t let off the pedal,” Baron said.
Moving to 6-under after Wohlers’ 25-foot birdie putt at the seventh, the two gave back a stroke with a bogey at the eighth to turn in 5-under.
Wohlers rolled in a pair of short birdie chances at the 11th and 14th holes before the two carded their second bogey of the round at the par-3 17th. Baron would answer by sinking a 15-footer on the final hole to put his team at 7-under 64, five shots off the lead.
“We were feeling a little down after a bogey on 17. We knew [Schmitz and Polk] were behind us playing well. To get that birdie on 18 makes it feel so much better,” Wohlers said. “We knew we could’ve gotten to nine or 10, but in these conditions, seven is pretty good.”
“Playing here for the first time today probably didn’t help us,” said Baron. “Overall, I thought the course played very fair. Of course, you always leave a couple out there, but Brad capitalized on his chances on the green today.”
Jesse Polk and Sammy Schmitz, who tied a tournament record with an opening-round 60 at Pebble Creek Golf Club en route to their victory in 2014, will begin Wednesday’s final round in third place following their round of 6-under 65 Tuesday.
Polk rolled in his birdie chance at the par-3 second hole before adding back-to-back birdies at the fourth and fifth holes. A perennial long hitter, Polk took advantage of the 505-yard, par-5 sixth by carding eagle to move the former champions to 5-under for the round.
Slowing their pace midround, Polk and Schmitz would card a bogey at the par-3 13th to fall back to 4-under. Schmitz, a six-time MGA Men’s Player of the Year, bounced back by converting his birdie opportunity at the par-5 14th before Polk rolled in his fourth birdie of the day on the ensuing hole.
Finding trouble at the other par-3 on the inward nine at 17, Polk and Schmitz once again dropped a shot with bogey, but Schmitz sank his birdie putt on the final hole to help him and Polk to a 6-under 65.
Joe Conzemius and Will Hickey, winners in 2018, posted a 5-under 66 Monday and enter the final round Wednesday tied for fourth with the twosome of Nick Jarrett and Matthew Norgaard, as well as the team of Ryan McDowell and Alan Johnson.
The final round of the 59th MGA Amateur Four-Ball Championship is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at Crow River Golf Club.

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