MGA Amateur Championship
last year's News Stories
In 1901, the first Amateur Championship concluded the MGA's inaugural meeting at the Meadow Brook Club in Winona. Despite the fact the Championship was not conducted in 1942-1944 due to the war, it remains one of the oldest golf championships in the state. Past champions include Harry Legg (10), Jimmy Johnson (7), Pat Sawyer (5) and some other notables like Tom Lehman, Tim Herron and John Harris.
The MGA Amateur also is one of the largest golfing events in the state with over 700 people entering the championship every year. It takes ten or more qualifying sites around the state to narrow down the competitors to a starting field of 156.
Last year, Golden Valley G&CC member Jesse Bull took advantage of his local knowledge to claim his first Amateur title with a solid four-under par, 212 total, at the Golden Valley Golf & Country Club. Tied with Troy Johnson and one stroke ahead of Erik Christopherson coming to the 54th hole, Bull used that local knowledge and left his second shot just short of the green on the 574-yard 18th hole, giving him an uphill chip which he played to within 4 feet. Both Johnson and Christopherson reached the green in two. Christopherson made his birdie while Johnson could only make par to set the stage for Bull's final putt. He calmly rolled it in for the victory.
Tying for third at one-under par were Jack Pexa and three-time MGA Player of the Year Sammy Schmitz. Former Gopher Ben Greve was alone in fifth at even par, while Dan Lensing (219) and Andy Jacobson (220) claimed sixth and seventh, respectively.
The 112th MGA Amateur Championship will be held at Duluth's Northland Country Club. The Donald Ross-designed Northland was the site of the 1956 US Women's Open where Kathy Cornelius defeated amateur Barbara McIntire in an 18-hole playoff. It will provide a totally different playing experience than Golden Valley. Best known for its difficult greens, it requires precision on both the tee shots and approach shots in addition to an exceptional short game. Driving distance will not be the advantage for the players at Northland as it was at Golden Valley.
This will be Northland's 8th time hosting the MGA Amateur Championship. Eric Deutsch won the Amateur when it was last contested at Northland in 2004.