The final major golf meet of the year, the 43rd annual Vandersluis Memorial, opens a three-day stand today at the Bemidji Town and Country Club.
The meet was begun in 1967 and honors the memory of Angus Vandersluis, a long-time Country Club official and avid golfer.
Bemidji native Tom Jenkins, now an Eagan residents, became the first four-time winner last summer, all four coming in this decade starting in 2002.
He scored a six stroke verdict over Mitch Mackedanz of Paynesville with rounds of 67-71-71---209.
Mackedanz also ended with a 71 which followed his 67 on Sunday. But an opening 77 Saturday left him too far back to make up the lead, closing at 215. Derek Hanson of Fergus Falls was third at 218.
Kevin Krigbaum led the Bemidji contingent in fifth with a 222.
Ross Kvittem of Burnsville went two extra holes to dethrone Bemidji's Bruce Simenson and take the Senior title with a 71-74-75---220. Simenson had a 72-74-74 on his three rounds. Brent Armstrong was third at 225 and Staples veteran Glen Hasselberg, a former BSU golf star, fourth at 227.
After Kvittem and Simenson salvaged pars on the first extra hole, the Burnsville golfer won with a par on the second as Simenson three putted.
Bemidji's Gerry Douglas won the first two men's titles in 1967 and 68 and later returned to capture the Seniors crown in 2001.
Among the notables who have won the meet is Alexandria's Tom Lehman, the 1979 champion .
Hasselberg won in 1983 and 86.
Among other Bemidji winners were Brian Egersdorf, Ed Demerit, Bill Israelson, Larry Perkins, David Montebello, Russ Simenson (three times), Andy Brink, Bob Brink (three times) and Jenkins.
Bob Brothen took eight seniors crowns from 1968-82. Summer resident Bob O'Neill won six, Perkins four and Joe Mayer three.
Warm, sunny weather is predicted for all three days of play in contrast to last year which ended in high winds the final 18 holes.
The format finds 18 holes on each of the three days.
The entry is well beneath the 170 who played last summer, just over the 130 mark with several more expected by tee time.
Only 20-25 Bemidji golfers have entered this year. The 50-55 Canadian corps, however, will be back on the course.
Both champions will be on hand. Other notables in the men's championship field are 2007 champ Bruce Hegland, Jon Sauer of St. Cloud, Andy Brink, Jon Larson,
Paul Daman and BSU's Jon Nelson, Ben Moen and Chris Curb.
Mayer, Hasselberg and Ray Sauer are among the top seniors in the field.
Among the missing Friday were Douglas and Simenson.