Minnesota Golf Association

Late Birdies Give Ylitalo Senior Showcase Win

June 10, 2021

By Nick Hunter
  ANNANDALE, Minn. – A pair of birdies on his final two holes Thursday helped James Ylitalo to a round of even par 72 for a one-stroke victory at the 2021 Senior Showcase at Albion Ridges Golf Course.
Looking at a birdie chance at the 17th, Ylitalo sank his 15-foot breaker to pull even with Kendall Nicolai before rolling in another birdie chance from 15 feet at the last to pull off the come-from-behind win.
“I went out there, put the ball in the fairway and on the green and made a lot of pars,” Ylitalo said following his round Thursday. “It was a good day—I didn’t really have any bad swings. I kept it consistent and it worked.”
Consistency has been a common theme for Ylitalo during his senior season at Delano High School this season, who claimed the Section 5 championship and will head to Ridges at Sand Creek next week for the boys’ Class AA championship.
“My low score was 71 and my high was 78, so it’s been a steady year. We have a good team and we’re excited for state coming up next week.”
Following a single bogey over his first nine holes Thursday, Ylitalo was focused on making par when he flipped to the back nine.
“I wasn’t really worried about my score,” Ylitalo said. “I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed if I kept making par and I snuck a few birdies in there, so it was a good day.”
Ylitalo took bogey at the par-4 10th to slip to 2-over for the round, but answered by chipping within three feet at the 12th and tapped in for birdie. After a third bogey of the round at the 13th, Ylitalo took control of the championship with his putt by burying a pair of lengthy putts late to earn the victory.
Ylitalo said he is undecided in his plans moving forward, but is hoping to play collegiate golf.
Nicolai placed second with his round of 73, while Ethan Dummer and Isaac Flicker finished in a tie for third at 2-over 74.
6,567 YARDS, PAR 72
1. James Ylitalo, Delano, Minn., 37-35—72
2. Kendall Nicolai, St. Peter, Minn., 34-39—73
T3. Ethan Dummer, Eden Prairie, Minn., 35-39—74
T3. Isaac Flicker, Big Lake, Minn., 38-36—74
T3. Sean Lehman, Alexandria, Minn., 38-36—74
6. John Sexton, Edina, Minn., 37-38—75
T7. Jordan Boltz, Maple Grove, Minn., 39-37—76
T7. Dalton Anderson, Cottage Grove, Minn., 39-37—76    
T9. Bailey Johnston, Hastings, Minn., 42-35—77
T9. Jake Wagner, Canby, Minn., 40-37—77
T9. Haakon Rustad, Northfield, Minn., 41-36—77
For complete tournament results go to:  https://mnpgajr.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/mnpgajr21/event/mnpgajr21198/contest/5/leaderboard.htm

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