Minnesota Golf Association

Peterson Goes Wire-to-wire to Claim First Win at Minnesota Golf Champions

September 30, 2019

By Nick Hunter
  EDINA, Minn. – Already considered one of Minnesota’s most prolific amateur golfers with 26 career victories in the state to his credit, Trent Peterson carded a final-round 74 Sunday to earn a wire-to-wire victory at the 45th Minnesota Golf Champions at Edina Country Club.
At 32-years-old, Peterson collected his 27th victory this week, adding another tournament win to his extensive golf resume. He becomes the second amateur to win the event since Clayton Rask’s victory in 2007, leaving the Minnesota Public Golf Association Mid Public Links Championship as the only state championship without Peterson’s name etched on the trophy.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic because it’s one of the few majors, I guess, that I haven’t won and I’m happy to take it down,” Peterson said following his win Sunday. “When I’ve played this event in the past, it’s usually my first event of the year with maybe a round or two under me. I’ve never played well, I’ve made the cut a few times, but I’m happy because at least I’ve played some golf and was able to play well this year.
“I putted really well this week. I don’t think I had any three-putts and these greens are tough. I’d give myself uphill putts or makeable putts. I rarely had downhill sliders and that was big to make putts easier because I can be a little more aggressive.”
Peterson jumped out to the early lead Friday, carding seven birdies over his first 13 holes before carding a trio of birdies to finish the opening round with a one-stroke lead.
Widening his lead to two shots over former Winona State University golfer, Michael Schmitz, following the second round Saturday, a late birdie Sunday boosted Peterson to a two-stroke lead over five-time champion Don Berry and 2013 Minnesota Golf Association Amateur champion Sam Matthew.
“I’ve been hitting the ball good for the last month. I got out there Friday and was hitting fairways and greens and was 7-under through 15 holes. Reality set in and I missed some fairways and it was a bit of a bummer to finish with bogeys, but I still shot 4-under,” Peterson said. “Yesterday I played good—I shot 2-under and was keeping it in the short stuff, hitting greens and rolling in some putts.
“Today with the rain and the wind and the cold, I tried to have a good attitude and not get down on yourself. I’ve done it a million times and I know how to do it and everyone else is playing in it. Try to hit fairways and greens and two-putt for par. I did that, but it was misting and the fairways and rough were covered in water. The rough was thick and the ball wouldn’t go very far.”
During the final round in difficult conditions Sunday, Peterson’s par putt at the par-4 second lipped-out for an early bogey, but he would bounce back by sinking a 15-footer for birdie on the ensuing hole to draw even for the round and increase his lead to three.
Unable to save par after missing the seventh green, Peterson dropped to 5-under for the championship and would add another bogey to his scorecard at the par-5 10th as his lead was trimmed to two over Berry.
Following a key up-and-down to save par at the 12th, Peterson tucked his birdie putt from 12 feet inside the left edge at the 14th to remain two shots clear of Berry and three strokes ahead of Matthew. Following a Berry bogey at the 16th, Peterson would card an inconsequential bogey on the final round to claim his third victory of the season at 4-under 212.
Along with his numerous tournament victories in the state, Peterson has notched 66 top-5 finishes since 2004 and earned an invitation to five USGA championships. Outside of the state, Peterson won two events while at South Dakota State University, three wins at the Boys of Summer Cup in South Dakota and the Northwest Iowa Amateur Championship.
He claimed MGA Junior Boys’ Player of the Year honors in 2004 and has twice been named MGA Men’s Player of the Year (2008, 2014). Entering this week 72 ½ points behind Van Holmgren in the 2019 Player Point Standings, Peterson now surpasses Holmgren with his win Sunday, earning 100 points to solidify his third MGA Men’s Player of the Year award.
But while Peterson has proven to be one of the state’s most dominant players over the past decade, he made the difficult decision to cut back his tournament schedule late in the season, returning to school to obtain a degree as a certified registered nurse anesthetist.  
After graduating from SDSU, Peterson played as a professional for a short period before opting to regain his amateur status in 2013, working as a registered nurse ever since.
“Expectations were not that high this week. I play to win, but I hadn’t touched a club in two weeks,” Peterson said. “I’ve been doing schoolwork nonstop and I was one of the last people to sign up. I had to skip school to play on Friday.”
Beginning school shortly after a second-place finish at the MGA Amateur Four-Ball and a win at the Lyle Cran Shortstop, Peterson squeezed in a tournament two weeks ago at the Leo Spooner Invitational at Northland Country Club in Duluth, Minn. A four-ball event, Peterson and partner Joel B. Johnson finished second to Minnesotan Tim Herron and son, Carson.
Peterson is currently enrolled at the Minneapolis School of Anesthesia, a two-year, full-time program that will all but eliminate his competitive golf schedule for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
“I’m happy I’m in school and I know after two years it’ll be a good thing. It’s a small hiccup in my life, but I had a really good summer and played well and actually played better the second half,” said Peterson. “Not being able to play next year or to play a random event—I play better the more I play because I don’t like to practice. When I play all the time, it keeps me fresh. If I were to play one event a month next summer, I won’t be sharp at all.
“Next summer I’ll have tons of clinicals with a little school work, so I may be flexible, but I just don’t really know. I only know my schedule through the end of October right now. I hope to be able to make something work, but the goal is to graduate.”
Sunday’s final round was also highlighted by Brent Snyder’s ace at the 190-yard, seventh hole using a 6-iron. Snyder posted a 3-over 75 to finish in fourth at 217.
6,695 YARDS, PAR 72
1. Trent Peterson (a), Valleywood GC, 68-70-74—212
T2. Sam Matthew, North Oaks GC, 71-72-71—214
T2. Don Berry, Edinburgh USA, 70-73-71—214
4. Brent Snyder, Troy Burne GC, 71-71-75—217
5. Brady Hanson, Stillwater CC, 76-71-71—218
6. Michael Schmitz (a), The Bridges, 69-71-79—219
T7. Will Holmgren, Baker Nat’l GC, 73-73-74—220
T7. Derek Stendahl, Rush Creek GC, 73-71-76—220
T9. Justin Burleson (a), Valleywood GC, 72-76-73—221
T9. Isabella McCauley (a), Southview CC, 69-76-76—221
For complete tournament results go to:  https://mnpga.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/mnpga19/event/mnpga1932/contest/1/leaderboard.htm


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