Minnesota Golf Association

Jenkins and Krigbaum Headed to U.S. Four-Ball Championship Along With Greve and Gibb

October 3, 2017

By Nick Hunter

  INDEPENDENCE, Minn. – Thomas Jenkins and Kevin Krigbaum have played golf together for over 20 years. The two played together at Bemidji High School and went on to play college golf together at Bemidji State University.

Currently both Jenkins and Krigbaum reside in Champlin, Minn., and are members at Edinburgh USA. After firing a round of 7-under par 71 Monday at Windsong Farm, the two reached uncharted territory as they earned medalist honors and a spot in the 2018 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship.

“We’ve played in a couple two-man events this year and did pretty well,” Jenkins said. “This late in the season, we didn’t know what to expect. We came out and played some golf and it worked out well. Playing together for 20 years—we’ve never done anything on this level. It means a lot.”

“This is only the second time I’ve played in a USGA qualifier,” Krigbaum said after advancing Monday. “Back in 2000 I tried to qualify for the U.S. Amateur, but that’s when I was in college. We grew up together and played in two-man events for a long time and have done pretty well. Those aren’t USGA events and they’re probably not quite as deep of fields, but it’s going to be pretty cool.”

The two got off to a rather pedestrian start Monday, carding two birdies over their first nine holes and remained at 2-under as they stood on the fourth tee.

“We had a big delay after three, we waited like a half hour, and I told Kevin as we were getting ready to tee off on four that we needed four birdies in the last five holes,” Jenkins said.

The two did one better and birdied five of the last six holes to finish on top of the leader board at 7-under par 64 to earn a trip to the national championship for the first time.

“He birdied five of the last six on the front nine,” Krigbaum joked after his team’s round Monday.

Jenkins rolled in an 8-footer for birdie at the fourth before sinking his 20-foot birdie at the fifth to put the two at 4-under. Knocking his 6-iron to three feet at the sixth, Jenkins tapped in for birdie to move his team to 5-under.

A horseshoe lip-out at the seventh ended the birdie streak at three, but Jenkins wasn’t done yet, sticking his gap wedge inside of six feet at the eighth and converted his birdie look before a routine two-putt for birdie on the final hole put the two at 64.

“We ham and egged it pretty well and we’ve been playing together for a long time, so that makes it pretty comfortable."

Jenkins said he was slightly familiar with the course, playing in the 2007 Minnesota Golf Association Amateur Championship when it was held at Windsong in 2008. Jenkins’ most recent victory came at the 2014 Birchmont, while he won the event in 2009 as well. That same year he teamed up with Jon Sauer to win the Minnesota Public Golf Association Four-Ball Championship at Southbrook Golf Course.

His biggest victory to date came in 2007 when he defeated Clayton Rask to with the MGA Players’ Championship at Somerset Country Club. Jenkins has one prior USGA event to his credit as a member of Team Minnesota, playing in the 2007 U.S. Men’s State Team Championship at the Club at Carleton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas.

Joining Jenkins and Krigbaum at the 2018 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, which will be played May 19-23 at both the Hills Course and the Village Course at Jupiter Hills Club in Tequesta, Fla., will be two-time Minnesota State Open champion Ben Greve and partner Matthew Gibb, who fired a 6-under par 65 Monday to finish in a tie for second before prevailing in a playoff Tuesday.

Greve and Gibb, teammates while playing at the University of Minnesota, started on the 10th hole and carded three birdies and a bogey over the first nine holes Monday before a pair of birdies and one bogey early on the back put the two at 3-under for the round.

Gibb stuck his approach to six inches at the seventh, rolling in his birdie look, while Greve carded birdie on the final two holes to boost the two into a three-way tie for second. In the playoff both Gibb and Greve found the middle of the green at the 16th and two-putted for par, while the other two groups made bogey to give the twosome the second qualifying spot.

“Matt and I are excited to be playing in the [U.S. Four-Ball Championship] next year,” Greve said Tuesday. “Team golf is a lot of fun and I think it’s a great event the USGA has added. We’ve come close to qualifying a couple of times, but the last time was a 6-for-1 playoff where we made it down to the final two and I three-putted for par from 20 feet to lose.

“We were 4-under through 11 and cruising right along fine and then we ran into a bogey at the fifth. Dropping to 3-under, we didn’t have much momentum,” Greve said prior to making birdie over the final three holes. “We each had four birdies and never birdied the same hole.”

Michael Martin, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Danny Amundson, Sioux Falls, S.D., also posted a 6-under par 65 and survived a two-hole playoff to earn the third and final qualifying position. The two turned at 3-under with four birdies and a bogey before carding an eagle and a birdie over the final nine holes to finish in a tie for second at 65.

Will Andersen, of Dakota City, Neb., and Christopher Rager, Sioux Falls, S.D., finished as first alternates, while Aaron Barber and Andy Jacobson fired a round of 5-under par 66 to finish as second alternates.


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