Rislove Claims First State Title at MPGA Senior Public Links Championship

July 16, 2023 | 4 min.
By Nick Hunter

  MAPLEWOOD, Minn. – A pair of early birdies to begin his back nine and a remarkable up-and-down on the final hole Sunday at Keller Golf Course helped Eric Rislove claim the 83rd Minnesota Public Golf Association Senior Public Links Championship.

Entering the final round with a share of the lead, Rislove played his final seven holes in 2-under Sunday to claim a two-stroke victory over Paul Schubring and Paul Commers for his first state victory.

“To break through and get a state title is pretty awesome,” Rislove said after his round Sunday. “I feel fantastic that I held on. The day was super challenging with the wind, and I just battled and it worked out.

“At 50, this is a new life, so it’s fun to have these opportunities and it’s really satisfying to get a win.”

A 1-under 71 put Rislove into a five-way tie for the lead with Schubring, Commers, five-time champion J.T. Johnson and Scott Holt following Saturday's opening round.

“There were so many people tied for the lead or near the lead, I tried not to worry about anybody else,” Rislove said. “It was about sticking to my process, being patient and I feel like I did that really well.”

Carding a pair of bogeys to close out his front nine in 1-over for the tournament, Rislove left an eagle putt short at the par-5 12th, tapping in for birdie to get back to even par.

He would then chip in for birdie on the ensuing hole to earn a share of the lead with Commers at 1-under.

Forced to punch out at the 18th, Rislove pitched his third to six feet and rolled in his downhill par putt to earn a two-stroke victory at 1-under 143.

Asked if his par save at the last was the best up-and-down of his career, Rislove grinned, “100 percent—no doubt about it. It would’ve been a sour taste to make a bogey there.”

Rislove, who turned 50 last September, claimed a runner-up finish at the MPGA Mid Public Links Championship in 2019, finishing two strokes behind winner Max Tylke at Emerald Greens Golf Club.

Most recently, Rislove notched a second runner-up finish to recent Minnesota State Open winner Caleb VanArragon at the 2021 Twin Cities Championship at Hastings Golf Club.

Commers, winner of the Twin Cities Championship in 2000, carded an early bogey Sunday, but would settle into his round by playing his final seven holes of the front nine in even par.

A two-putt birdie at the par-5 10th put Commers back into red figures for the championship before he would take the outright lead by sinking an 8-footer for birdie at the par-4 13th.

But Commers would bogey three of his final four holes to post a final-round 74 to earn a share of second with Schubring at 1-over 145.

“I hit the ball well, but had a couple of three-putts at [Nos. 2 and 16],” Commers said following his round Sunday. “That was the difference.

“There are a lot of positives to take away.”

Schubring, who carded a 1-under 71 Saturday to earn a share of the lead, eagled the par-5 10th hole Sunday to get back into contention before taking a double-bogey at the par-5 16th.

With his chances seemingly slipping away, Schubring holed out his approach at the par-4 17th to pull within one shot of the lead.

But a bogey at the last put Schubring into a share of second, shooting a final-round 74 to finish tied with Commers at 1-over 145.

Brad Johnson’s round of even par 72 Sunday helped move him into a share of fourth with 2004 MGA Mid-Amateur champion John Spreiter and Mark Aldrich.

6,675 YARDS, PAR 72


1. Eric Rislove, Prestwick GC, 71-72—143
T2. Paul Schubring, Chaska TC, 71-74—145
T2. Paul Commers, Keller GC, 71-74—145
T4. Brad Johnson, Links at Northfork, 76-72—148
T4. John Spreiter, Litchfield GC, 72-76--148
T4. Mark Aldrich, Chaska TC, 73-75—148
T7. Scott Lewiston, Edinburgh USA, 79-70—149
T7. Jon Freeman, Chaska TC, 73-76—149
T9. J.B. Lloyd, Rush Creek GC, 77-73—150
T9. Leif Carlson, Keller GC, 76-74—150
T9. Jerry Rose, Alexandria GC, 74-76—150
T9. Mark Sperling, Keller GC, 74-76—150

For complete tournament results go to: www.golfgenius.com/pages/9665699946120108206


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 11th 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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