University of St. Thomas Assistant Golf Coach Alex Kline Claims 2023 Twin Cities Open
May 22, 2023
By Jack Mendesh
EDINA, Minn. – Entering the final round with a bunched leaderboard, one shot back of four leaders, University of St. Thomas assistant golf coach Alex Kline birdied the final hole to claim a two-shot victory at the 2023 Twin Cities Open at Edina Country Club.
Kline used a new mentality, something he has been working hard on, to come into the round with a positive perspective.
“It was a tight leaderboard, that’s what makes it fun, right? So I just tried to embrace that…I tried to stay engaged and pay attention to the right things. I stayed in the process and stayed patient,” Kline said.
At one point on the back nine, there were nine players within one shot of the lead – needless to say, someone needed to do something special to break away from the pack.
That’s just what Kline did over his last 11 holes going six-under during that stretch capped off by a birdie on the 18th hole.
He had 168 yards into the green from a bunker on the left side of the fairway and figured it was playing 170 adjusted with the hill leading up to the green and the helping wind.
“I knew it was the perfect seven iron – I knew it wasn’t going to go over the green. All I had to do was make good contact and get it up over the lip (of the bunker).”
That’s exactly what he did – he hit the approach shot to eight feet with a putt at birdie to essentially close out the tournament. He rolled the putt in the middle of the hole to finish with a two-day total of 136, 8-under, including a final round 5-under-par 67, to claim the two-shot victory over Eddie Wynne, Bryce Hanstad and Trent Peterson.
Kline said of his putting and especially the last putt dropping, “I have struggled with putting in the past so to make that putt was really fulfilling.”
Kline had a fortunate break during the back nine that contributed to him winning as well. He drove his ball into the left fairway bunker on the short par-4 15th hole, leaving about 70 yards into the green. As one of the hardest shots in golf, he did what most golfers would do – hit it a little heavy, which left him in the front greenside bunker. From there, one of the deciding moments of his round took place – he one-hopped his third shot into the pin and it dropped into the hole for a birdie putting him, at the time, one shot behind the lead.
“I had a really short-sided bunker shot to a tight pin from a downhill lie and I just tried to get it in the air to try to stop as fast as I could and got lucky. Winning requires a lot of luck.”
With his win, Kline earns an automatic exemption into the 2023 Minnesota State Open to be played July 10-12 at Oak Ridge Country Club.
2022 MGA Mid-Amateur champion, Trent Peterson, and 2022 MGA Mid-Players’ Champion, Bryce Hanstad, tied for low amateur honors and tied second place over with a two-day score of six-under 138. Both Hanstad and Peterson shot a three-under-par 34 on the final nine to make a charge at the lead but both parred the last five holes.
Joining Hanstad and Peterson at six-under-par was Eddie Wynne, the head golf profession at the University of Minnesota, Les Bolstad Golf Course, who fired a final round four-under-par 68 to finish two strokes behind Kline.
Rounding out the top five was Maple Grove High School junior, Ryan Stendahl, the sixth ranked boys player in the state. Stendahl finished three back of Kline with a two-day total of five-under 139.
THE 2023 TWIN CITIES OPEN
EDINA COUNTRY CLUB
6,810 YARDS, PAR 72
1. Alex Kline (p), Kilkarney Hills Golf Course, 69-67--136
T2. Eddie Wynne (p), Les Bolstad Golf Course, 70-68--138
T2. Bryce Hanstad (a), Olympic Hills Golf Club, 70-68--138
T2. Trent Peterson (a), Valleywood Golf Course, 68-70--138
5. Ryan Stendahl (a), Rush Creek Golf Club, 68-71--139
T6. Jack Hiemenz (p), Victory Links Golf Course, 69-71--140
T6. Michael Schmitz (p), 2nd Swing, 68-72--140
T6. Cooper Markham (a), Baker National Golf Course, 68-72--140
T6. Ross Miller (p), LeSueur Country Club, 69-71--140
Jack Mendesh is the MGA’s caddie development and communications manager. He grew up caddying and playing golf in the Twin Cities and likes to give back to the game that has afforded so many enriching experiences in his life.