Minnesota Golf Association

Choe Subdues Adams to Win Resorters; Stephanie Herzog Is Women's Champ

August 6, 2018

ALEXANDRIA -- Experience defeated youth at the Resorters -- eventually. 

In the Men's Division, four of the eight players who made the quarterfinals have not set foot on a college campus yet. And it was a senior-to-be at Maple Grove High School, Nate Adams, who sprang what was probably the biggest surprise of the tournament, when he beat medalist Andrew Israelson in a 19-hole semifinal match. The Cinderella story that Adams was writing didn't quite make it to midnight. He wound up losing the championship match to ended to a college guy, Brian Choe.

Choe was the talk of last year's Resorters, after he dethroned two-time defending champ Nick Heinen, and then made it to the final, where he was beaten by Thomas Strandemo.

Strandemo did not defend the crown this year, having turned professional. 

That made Israelson the No. 1 seed, after the former Minnesota Mr. Golf -- who will be a junior at North Dakota State this fall -- zipped through 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying with a 137 (69-68) at Alexandria Country Club, and finished three strokes ahead of the field. He also won his first three matches. It appeared that he might add a Resorters championship to the two Birchmont titles that he won in 2016 and '17. But then along came Adams. 

Adams was part of Maple Grove's winning team at the Class AAA portion of the state high school tournament, and he tied fror 10th individually.  

After downing Israelson, Adams played well in the final, but he couldn't quite overcome Choe, a soon-to-be sophomore at Kansas State. 

Choe got off to a bit of a slow start, shooting a 1-over-par 73 in the opening round of qualifying. He came back with a 69 the next day, and the resulting total of 142, made him the No. 6 seed. He never saw the 14th tee in either of his first two matches, winning 7&5 and 6&5. He didn't see the 17th hole until J.J. Svac pushed him that far in the semifinals. Svac, who's a few weeks away from starting his senior year at Minnesota State-Mankato, was the runner-up to Joel Johnson in the Krugel Invitational at Mankato Golf Club a month ago. He kept his semifinal match against Choe close, but Choe ended up advancing with a 2&1 victory. 

He went all the way to the 18th green against Adams, but ended up winning 1 up. 

As prominent as the high school faction was in the Men's Division, it was even more so in the Women's Division. Ultimately, however, it came down to a contest for Harzog family bragging rights. 

Sophia Yoemans, the two-time state high school champion from Red Wing -- who set a state record by posting a 63-66--129 at this year's state tournament -- claimed medalist honors with a 4-under (for women) 69 in the qualifying round. But she was upset by Ashlyn Guggisberg, who is between her freshman and sophomore years at North Dakota State, in a quarterfinal match that went 19 holes.

The runner-up in qualifying was Maddie Herzog, a recent graduate of Detroit Lakes High School, and soon to be a teammaate of Guggisberg's at NDSU. She came within a stroke of matching Yoemans, posting a 79, but she, too, was gone before the semifinal round.

In the end, two of Herzog's cousins, Stephanie Herzog and Leah Herzog, who played for the championship. 

Stephanie, a sophomore-to-be at Iowa, won the Ms. Minnesota Golf Award (as the state's top female high school player) in 2017, when she was a senior at Red Wing. In the semis on Saturday, she beat a 2018 Ms. Minnesota Golf finalist, Alayna Eldrid of Osakis, 5&4.   

Leah Herzog is a teammate of Yoemans at Red Wing, and they will both be seniors this fall. Leah took on Guggisberg in the other semifinal at Alex, and avenged her teammate's loss by winning a surprisingly one-sided victory, 7&6. 

As happened in the men's final, the college player (Stephanie) beat the high school player i(Leah) for the Women's Division crown, in this case by a score of 4&3.


The Resorters

At Alexandria Country Club

Par 72 (men)

Par 73 (women) 


Men's Division

Qualifying (stroke play; the top 32 advance to match play)

1. Andrew Israelson, Staples            69-68--137

T2. Jacques Wilson, Minnetonka      68-72--140

T2. Kyle Cox, Carrollton, Texas         68-72--140

T4. Ben Sigel, Minnetonka                74-67--141

T4. Nate Adams, Maple Grove          68-73--141

T6. Brian Choe, Coppell, Texas        73-69--142

T6. J.J. Svac, Osseo                        70-72--142

8. Lincoln Johnson, Chaska             71-72--143

Match play 


Israelson def. Lincoln Johnson 20 holes 

Adams def. Sigel 2 up

Svac def. Dawson Wills 2 up

Choe def. Cecil Belisle 4&3


Adams def. Israelson 19 holes
Choe def. Svac 2&1


Choe def. Adams 1 up 

Women's Division 


1. Sophia Yoemans, Red Wing        69

2. Maddie Herzog, Detroit Lakes     70

3. Stephanie Herzog, Red Wing      72

4. Leah Herzog, Red Wing              73

5. Ale Arellano, Wichita                   76

Match play


Leah Herzog def. Ashlyn Guggisberg 7&6

Stephanie Herzog, def. Alayna Eldred 5&4


Stephanie Herzog def. Leah Herzog 4&3


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