Late Birdies Put Burleson and Larson on Top at MPGA Four-Ball

May 19, 2024 | 5 min.
By Nick Hunter

  STILLWATER, Minn. – Rolling in three birdies over their final five holes Sunday at Oak Glen Golf Course, Justin Burleson and Jesse Larson fired a final-round 67 to edge the twosome of Ryan Tschann and Max Tylke for a one-stroke victory at the 47th Minnesota Public Golf Association Four-Ball Championship.

The win for Burleson is his first since winning the 2020 Minnesota Golf Association Mid-Players' Championship, while Larson collects his second career victory in 12 seasons.

“There’s nothing like the competitive juices coming down the stretch," Burleson said Sunday. "It’s nice to feel the nerves and have to perform. Especially those last four or five holes, we came through when we needed each other."

“It feels nice to climb the mountain again because it’s been a while,” said Larson. “You pick a good partner who you can rely on and good things will happen. I’m not getting any younger and I’ve been working hard on my game the last few years, so it’s nice to see the payoff.”

Entering Sunday’s final round with a two-stroke cushion, Burleson and Larson combined for two birdies over their first eight holes before taking their only bogey of the championship at the par-4 ninth, dropping to 10-under for the tournament.

From a greenside bunker at the 11th, Larson navigated a wedge downhill to six feet, sinking his birdie chance to keep pace with Tschann and Tylke at 11-under.

Keeping stride once again at the 14th, Larson rolled in another 6-footer for birdie to put him and Burleson at 12-under to remain in a share of the lead.

With Burleson inside of six feet at the 15th, Larson chipped in for birdie from off the green before Burleson’s birdie chance from 20 feet at the 16th found the bottom of the cup to take the outright lead at 14-under.

Following an up-and-down to save par by Larson at the 17th, a two-putt par by Burleson at the last sealed the championship, shooting 14-under 130.

“We played very solid yesterday and made putts,” Larson said Sunday. “We knew there was going to be a stretch of trouble, knowing how well yesterday went and weathering that storm, there’s opportunities out here.”

“Four-ball is a little bit different. Up two as an individual, you may play to the center of the green more, but not in four-ball—you have to make birdies,” Burleson added. “Yesterday we shot 9-under, and it probably could’ve been lower. Today we shot 5-under, and it was as well as we could’ve played. Two very different days.”

Winning for the first time at the MPGA Mid Public Links Championship at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course in 2016, Burleson then won the MGA Mid-Players’ Championship and the MPGA Mid Public Links Championship within three days of each other in 2018.

He tallied his fourth state win at the MGA Mid-Amateur Championship in 2019 at Bearpath Golf and Country Club, and he most recently defeated Matt Norgaard at the MGA Mid-Players’ Championship at Cannon Golf Club in 2020.

Larson’s only previous state win came in 2013 with partner Jordan Hawkinson to claim the MGA Amateur Four-Ball at Owatonna Country Club. But he’s quietly become one of the state’s steadiest players in recent years, tallying 16 top-10s since his last victory, including six runner-up finishes.

Teaming up for the first time in 2019, Burleson and Larson have not finished worse than 10th, while notching back-to-back runner-up finishes in 2020 and 2021.

“We complement each other pretty well,” said Larson of his successful partnership with Burleson. “I was able to take advantage of a few doglegs and things like that. Justin is just so steady—his record shows that. He's in play almost all the time and he putts it well.”

“We go about the game very differently,” Burleson said. “Jesse is very analytical, and I just see the ball and hit the ball. We balanced that out well. I think we had 14 birdies between the two of us this week.”

Tschann and Tylke began the final round in a share of second following Saturday’s opening-round 65.

The two combined for three birdies during their opening nine Sunday to turn in 10-under for the championship.

After rolling in three birdies over their first six holes to begin the back nine, Tschann and Tylke were unable to get putts to fall over their final three holes, posting a final-round 66 to come up one shot short at 13-under 131.

John Butler and Joel B. Johnson posted a round of 6-under 66 to open the championship Saturday and fired the same score during Sunday’s final round to finish in third place at 12-under 132.

Jim Lehman and Jerry Rose, winners of the 2019 MGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Windsong Farm, followed their opening-round 68 with a 7-under 65 during Sunday’s final round to earn a two-stroke victory over the team of Eric Rislove and Dave Zuercher to earn medalist honors in the Senior Division, shooting 11-under 133.

6,512 YARDS, PAR 72


1. Burleson/Larson, 63-67—130
2. Tschann/Tylke, 65-66—131
3. Butler/Johnson, 66-66—132
4. Herdine/Herman, 65-69—134
T5. Bosley/Plowman Ollington, 68-67—135
T5. Baxley/Conn, 67-68—135
T7. Jarrett/Tetrault, 70-66—136
T7. Tyllia/Wangen, 67-69—136
9. Paine/Paine, 71-66—137
T10. Junker/Mahal, 72-66—138
T10. Cannon/Shafer, 68-70—138

For complete tournament results go to:


Nick Hunter

Nick Hunter got his start covering sports for the Mankato Free Press while attending Minnesota State University, Mankato. 

He then contributed to several online outlets, including Bleacher Report, prior to turning his focus to golf.

Hunter enters his 12th season covering golf in Minnesota as news editor for the MGA website. He resides in New Prague with his wife and two sons.

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