Minnesota Golf Association

Heidrick and Sexton Prevail With the Putter to Win MGA Senior Four-Ball

September 13, 2018

By Nick Hunter
  NORTHFIELD, Minn. – After knocking his tee shot inside of two feet on the second playoff hole late Thursday, Tom Heidrick rolled in his ninth birdie of the day to help give him and partner John Sexton a victory over the twosome of Jim Lehman and Jerry Rose, claiming the 45th Minnesota Golf Association Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Northfield Golf Club.
Despite a double-bogey to open the final round, Heidrick and Sexton rolled in birdies early and often Thursday to eliminate a three-stroke deficit before Heidrick sank a late birdie to force extra holes by carding a 9-under par 135. Prevailing on the second playoff hole, Heidrick and Sexton earned their third win as a twosome and first MGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball title.
“This is a big one. The MGA is the king of the hill and we’re pretty proud to win something like this against a great field,” Sexton said after the win Thursday. “You saw Jerry Rose and Jim Lehman and some of those names; we’re pretty blessed to come home with this.”
“John and I just wanted to play our games and we figured we’d have to be six or seven under today at least,” Heidrick said. “We had to get hot somewhere—play our game, do our best and see if the birdies start coming.”
Heidrick and Sexton, winners of the Minnesota Public Golf Association Senior Four-Ball Championship in 2014 and 2016, carded a 3-under par 69 to open the championship Wednesday, three shots out of the lead and struggled to begin the final round Thursday.
“It was an interesting start to say the least,” Sexton said of his team’s double-bogey start, “I hit it out-of-bounds and Tommy played in the trees a little bit. We were walking off the green and I said some of the best rounds I’ve ever had have been after horrible starts, so I said, ‘Let’s go.’”
Sexton’s pep talk proved effective as the two birdied the next three to quickly get back to 4-under par for the tournament. Sexton knocked his approach inside of two feet at the second and Heidrick’s putter came alive at the third, sinking a 60-footer before he sank a downhill birdie putt from 15 feet at the fourth.
Both Heidrick and Sexton were inside of six feet at the par-4 ninth hole when Heidrick sank his putt to put the pair at 5-under par for the championship, but still three shots off the lead at that point.
Similar to their front nine, Heidrick and Sexton would string together three consecutive birdies to quickly move to 8-under and into a share of the lead with Lehman and Rose. Heidrick went pin-seeking at the 11th for an easy tap-in birdie before reaching the par-5 12th in two, two-putting for birdie.
After sinking a 30-footer for birdie at the 13th, Heidrick still had a little magic left in his putter as he drained an 18-footer for birdie at the 17th to keep pace with Lehman and Rose as the two teams finished 36 holes of regulation at 9-under par 135.
“On the back nine we made a couple birdies that got us to four or five under for the day, and figured we were probably in the hunt,” Heidrick said. “It’s pretty windy today, it wasn’t an easy scoring day.”
“When [Heidrick] made his eighth birdie of the day, we had a pretty good feeling,” Sexton said.
On the second playoff hole, Heidrick nearly dunked his tee shot at the 168-yard, par-3 17th hole and tapped in for birdie to give him and Sexton the win, their third as a team.
Aside from a pair of MPGA Senior Four-Ball wins, Sexton was a member of the MGA Team champions who claimed victory at Somerby Golf Club during the event’s second year in 2004. He’s notched 12 top-5 finishes at state championships since.
Along with his three four-ball victories, Heidrick has made pair of appearances at the MGA Mid-Players’ Championship and one appearance at the MGA Senior Players’ Championship.
“Tom just turned 55 a few years ago so this is only our second time playing the event and he keeps getting better and better,” Sexton complimented his playing partner. “It was so much fun to play with him and watch the way he hit it and putted today. He birdied three and four and he was off and running, so I watched a lot of great golf today. I told him I’ve never seen a round of golf like that—nine birdies and a [double-bogey].”
Asked the twosome’s biggest asset this week, Heidrick replied, ““The putter, no question. I was in good position off the tee, but if you’re not making putts, you can’t score and the putter was working today. John is a calming influence—we’re buddies and we’ve played together forever and it’s just natural. It’s easy”.
After posting an opening-round 65 to pace the field Wednesday, Tim Luhman and Robert Snyder posted a 2-under par 70 during the final round Thursday to finish one stroke back in third place at 136.
Bill and Bob Anderson carded a 4-under par 68 Thursday to earn a wire-to-wire victory over the twosome of Gary Johnson and Pat Vincelli and the team of Skip Schultz and John Walters by one stroke to claim victory in the Masters Division at 11-under par 133.
The Andersons took control of the tournament after the opening day of competition by firing a 7-under par 65 Wednesday before rolling in five birdies with a late bogey to hang on for the win.
6,465 YARDS, PAR 72
1. Heidrick/Sexton, 69-66—135 (won second playoff hole)
2. Lehman/Rose, 70-65—135
3. Luhman/Snyder, 66-70—136
T4. Buckingham/Neuberger, 67-70—137
T4. Nordstrom/Whittaker, 69-68—137
T4. Kokesh/Rehfeldt, 69-68—137
T7. Nervick/Spriggs, 72-66—138
T7. Horsch/Knutson, 71-67—138
T9. Newman/Thompson, 70-69—139
T9. Empanger/Teal, 70-69—139
T9. Leksell/Lundgren, 73-66—139
1. Anderson/Anderson, 65-68—133  
T2. Johnson/Vincelli, 67-67—134  
T2. Schultz/Walters, 66-68—134
4. Ehrmanntraut/Wight, 68-71—139
5. Jacobucci/Knoblauch, 70-71—141
6. Fermoyle/Smith, 72-72—144
T7. Myers/Olsen, 74-71—145
T7. Odlaug/Whitcher, 73-72—145
T9. Anderson/Pederson, 71-75—146
T9. Gorrill/Patrick, 72-74—146
1. Overocker/Watts, 59-60—119
2. Hughes/Noble, 61-65—126
3. McIntosh/Miller, 61-68—129
4. Hahka/Slivken, 67-69—136
5. Miller Thompson, 73-72—145
6. Halloran/Johnson, 80-70—150

Download Full Results: MGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship Leaderboard - Final all.pdf

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