Minnesota Golf Association

Holmes and Schmitz Notch Third MPGA Combo Win at Bunker Hills

September 16, 2018

By Nick Hunter
  COON RAPIDS, Minn. – Rolling in five birdies over their final nine holes Sunday at Bunker Hills Golf Club, the twosome of Jon Holmes and Sammy Schmitz rallied for a one-stroke victory to earn their third Minnesota Public Golf Association Combination Championship win over the past seven years.
 “This is my favorite tournament of the year—I love playing in this,” Holmes said Sunday. “We putted well, got up-and-down and scrambled when we needed to. I thought we made some good par putts to keep our round going.
“It was one of those rounds of golf where we had some holes that we could’ve scored worse, we missed a few opportunities, too, but we capitalized when we needed to.”
The MPGA Combination Championship consists of two-player teams playing nine holes of best-ball format on the East Course followed by nine holes of alternate shot on the West Course, and the tournament finishes with a nine-hole scramble on the North Course.
During the opening nine Holes got the scoring started at the par-4 second by sticking his approach inside of two feet, tapping in for birdie before the tandem carded three consecutive birdies beginning at the par-5 fourth.
At the 430-yard eighth hole, players were facing a stiff 25 mph wind and even with a strong drive, Schmitz needed all of his 5-iron to put his approach to 10 feet, making birdie to put the two at 5-under for the first nine holes.
The two slowed down a bit during the second nine during alternate shot, but managed a pair of birdies at the fifth and seventh holes to move to 7-under for the championship.
With Jamie Quesnel and Max Tylke in at 11-under 97, Holmes and Schmitz needed five birdies over their final nine holes and did just that by rolling in three consecutive birdies beginning at the second hole to pull within one shot of the lead before Holmes buried a 20-footer for birdie at the par-3 seventh to put his team into a share of the lead.
A birdie on the final hole would give Holmes and Schmitz their third win at the event since 2012.
“We played good best ball at 5-under and then when [2-under] during alternate shot. Those were both really good and the best we’ve done. In the scramble we just made a couple putts—we didn’t do anything extravagant,” Schmitz said.
“It’s the best we’ve ever done and the conditions were tough, too. Normally there’s no wind this time of the year and it’s been cold in the morning.”
Holmes, of Valleywood Golf Course, and Schmitz, from StoneRidge Golf Club, won the 2012 championship by three shots over the twosome of John Anderson and Bill Tadewald. They added a second win in 2016, edging Mark Aldrich and Jesse Polk by a stroke.
Schmitz, the Minnesota Golf Association Men’s Player of the Year winner in six of the last seven seasons, now pulls within 100 points of Ben Greve in the year-long Player of the Year race, including the 40 points he will earn by making an appearance at the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship in Charlotte, N.C., next week.
A total of 225 points remain up for grabs with the MGA Mid-Amateur Championship and the Minnesota Golf Champions yet to be played. Schmitz is a three-time MGA Mid-Amateur champion and claimed his first victory at the Minnesota Golf Champions a year ago, cruising to a six-stroke victory over Greve.
Quesnel and Tylke finished the 27-hole championship in second place Sunday, while the team of Polk and Aldrich carded a 10-under par 98 to finish tied for third with the pairing of Jordan Hawkinson and Will Hickey.
3,255 YARDS, PAR 36
3,404 YARDS, PAR 36
3,317 YARDS, PAR 36
1. Holmes/Schmitz, 31-31-34—96
2. Quesnel/Tylke, 31-29-37—97
T3. Hawkinson/Hickey, 32-31-35—98
T3. Aldrich/Polk, 31-32-35—98
5. Engwall/Hanner, 32-32-36—100
6. Anderson/Jacobson, 32-34-35—101
T7. O’Brien/Strauman, 33-32-38—103
T7. Bauer/Johnson, 35-32-36—103  
9. Conn/Freeman, 37-31-36—104
T10. Carlson/Johnson, 35-35-35—105
T10. Larson/Piotrowski, 37-30-38—105
T10. Collins/Rezac, 36-33-36—105
For complete tournament results go to:  www.golfgenius.com/pages/4009458865102936406


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