Sections

Weather Forecast

Close
Advertisement
Joe Burgess earned a berth in today's Executive title match with a 2 up win over Troy Haluptzok. Burgess will face Dale Finck in today's final. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Birchmont: Burgess will battle Finck for Executive crown

Email

Joe Burgess forged a 1 up lead over Troy Haluptzok in Friday's Executive Championship semifinal with a par on No. 17 and he figured that the match would go down to the bitter end.

Advertisement

"Troy was hitting it great," Burgess, who lives in Woodbury, said. "It was a good match. We both had our chances but there weren't many holes that either of us gave away."

Burgess ripped his drive on No. 18 over the trees guarding the left side. The ball stopped a few paces short of the bell just off the fairway.

Haluptzok tried a similar approach with his tee shot but, unfortunately, the ball found the trees and dropped among the pines just past the women's tee.

With branches preventing a back swing all Haluptzok could do was attempt a punch out. The shot failed to reach the fairway, however, and when Haluptzok found more trees with his third shot, he conceded the hole and the match.

"You never want to see a match end like that on the last hole," Burgess said of his 2 up victory. "We both were playing very well."

Burgess will face Dale Finck of Bertha in today's 9:40 a.m. final. Finck defeated Curt Howard of Sapulpa, Okla. 3 and 1 in Friday's other semifinal.

"It should be a very good final," Burgess said. "I've played with Dale a couple of times this week and he is playing very well. It should be a fun match."

Both golfers are veterans of the Birchmont but relative newcomers to the Executive division. Burgess started his Birchmont career in 2000 but competed in the Men's Championship until venturing into the Executive division two years ago.

Finck is making his second start as an Executive after seven years in the Men's division.

"Last year I lost to Curt in the second round," Finck said. "Friday I just tried to stay calm and play steady golf. And Curt helped me a few times when he sprayed his driver."

Finck said the first hole, which he lost with a bogey, was the key to Friday's victory.

"We were playing the first hole and I had to hit a shot from the No. 2 tee box," he said. "But I flopped a perfect wedge to three feet. I still lost the hole but that shot settled me down and I played well after that."

Finck won the next two holes with birdies and owned a 2 up lead at the turn. A par on No. 10 increased his cushion to 3 up and he ended the match with a birdie on No. 17.

Although he has never advanced to a Birchmont final Finck has adjusted to the level of play in this tournament and he is not surprised that he will be in today's Executive title match.

"I don't play much competitive golf at Bertha and at times I've been intimidated here," he admitted. "Usually I've been one or two shots away from advancing but this year I'm settled and am making those shots."

Finck believes that he will have to play his best golf to get past Burgess.

"Joe is a great guy and is playing solid golf," Finck said. "He is striking the ball very well and my goal will be to hit the fairways and the greens. That seemed to work Friday against Curt."

Y pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

Joe Burgess forged a 1 up lead over Troy Haluptzok in Friday's Executive Championship semifinal with a par on No. 17 and he figured that the match would go down to the bitter end.

"Troy was hitting it great," Burgess, who lives in Woodbury, said. "It was a good match. We both had our chances but there weren't many holes that either of us gave away."

Burgess ripped his drive on No. 18 over the trees guarding the left side. The ball stopped a few paces short of the bell just off the fairway.

Haluptzok tried a similar approach with his tee shot but, unfortunately, the ball found the trees and dropped among the pines just past the women's tee.

With branches preventing a back swing all Haluptzok could do was attempt a punch out. The shot failed to reach the fairway, however, and when Haluptzok found more trees with his third shot, he conceded the hole and the match.

"You never want to see a match end like that on the last hole," Burgess said of his 2 up victory. "We both were playing very well."

Burgess will face Dale Finck of Bertha in today's 9:40 a.m. final. Finck defeated Curt Howard of Sapulpa, Okla. 3 and 1 in Friday's other semifinal.

"It should be a very good final," Burgess said. "I've played with Dale a couple of times this week and he is playing very well. It should be a fun match."

Both golfers are veterans of the Birchmont but relative newcomers to the Executive division. Burgess started his Birchmont career in 2000 but competed in the Men's Championship until venturing into the Executive division two years ago.

Finck is making his second start as an Executive after seven years in the Men's division.

"Last year I lost to Curt in the second round," Finck said. "Friday I just tried to stay calm and play steady golf. And Curt helped me a few times when he sprayed his driver."

Finck said the first hole, which he lost with a bogey, was the key to Friday's victory.

"We were playing the first hole and I had to hit a shot from the No. 2 tee box," he said. "But I flopped a perfect wedge to three feet. I still lost the hole but that shot settled me down and I played well after that."

Finck won the next two holes with birdies and owned a 2 up lead at the turn. A par on No. 10 increased his cushion to 3 up and he ended the match with a birdie on No. 17.

Although he has never advanced to a Birchmont final Finck has adjusted to the level of play in this tournament and he is not surprised that he will be in today's Executive title match.

"I don't play much competitive golf at Bertha and at times I've been intimidated here," he admitted. "Usually I've been one or two shots away from advancing but this year I'm settled and am making those shots."

Finck believes that he will have to play his best golf to get past Burgess.

"Joe is a great guy and is playing solid golf," Finck said. "He is striking the ball very well and my goal will be to hit the fairways and the greens. That seemed to work Friday against Curt."

pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

Advertisement
pmiller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200
Advertisement
Advertisement
randomness