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Bruce Nord of Grand Forks captured his first Birchmont championship Saturday as he defeated Rob Jacobson of Bemidji 5 and 4 for the Senior title. Pioneer Photo/Pat Miller

Birchmont: Nord, Sieberlich, Dale win division championships

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Based on the qualifying scores Saturday's Senior Championship final featured a pair of unlikely participants.

Surviving through the upper bracket was Rob Jacobson of Bemidji who was the 13th seed in the 16-man field.

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The lower bracket representative was Bruce Nord of Grand Forks who had to survive a playoff just to make the championship cut.

Saturday afternoon at the Bemidji Town & Country Club Nord continued his improbable climb through the Senior ranks and he capped his week at the Birchmont with a 5 and 4 decision over Jacobson.

"Needless to say, I had to get past the best golfers in the field and somehow I did it," Nord said. "After qualifying there were four men for three spots and I was one of the three who made it in.

"But since we started match play I played very well. I didn't make a double-bogey during any match and I managed to keep going with a bunch of pars."

Nord defeated third-seeded Bob Kobilka of Bemidji in the opening round and then knocked off 11th-seeded John McEnroe of Woodbury. In the semifinals Nord trimmed Rob Noren of Bemidji, the seventh seed, 4 and 3.

Jacobson began his run with a 2 up victory over No. 4 Patrick Wilhelmson of North Richland Hills, Texas. In the quarterfinals he ousted No. 12 David Freborg of Roseville and Friday he bounced the Senior medalist and top seed Tim Tingelstad 2 up.

His luck ran out Saturday, however, as he couldn't match Nord's stellar play.

"I played very steady golf and I seemed to get stronger as the week went on," Nord said. "When I made a mistake I was able to cover.

"I've been an off-and-on Birchmont participant through the years but I've really never done anything significant until this week," Nord continued. "I'm not a seasoned tournament veteran like many of the guys in the field but I was able to keep going. It's an honor to play against guys like this and it's a special honor to beat a few of them."

In 2007 and 2008 Jack Sieberlich of Rush City claimed the championship of the Senior division.

A few years ago he reached the qualifying age for the Super Seniors, 65, and he decided to make the switch.

That decision paid dividends Saturday as Sieberlich defeated defending Super Senior champion Jim Trapp of Tucson 3 up for the title.

"There is no secret to winning a Birchmont championship," Sieberlich said. "Any of the guys in the field can win it because there are so many talented golfers. But if you play well you have a chance.

"This year I played good golf. I qualified with a good score (even-par 72 for medalist honors) and I had solid rounds in match play," Sieberlich added.

On Saturday Sieberlich continued his mastery over the golf course as he was 1-over par when the match ended.

"This is a fun division to be in because I played many of these guys when we all were in the Senior division," Sieberlich said. "Sooner or later we all get together again, this time as Super Seniors."

Trey Dale of Bemidji recovered from a shaky start to claim the Junior Championship crown with a 2 up win over Drew Gumlia of Tustin, Calif.

Dale dropped the first hole after a bogey and Gumlia increased his lead to 3 up by winning No. 5 with a par and No. 8 with a birdie.

Dale won No. 9 but Gumlia claimed No. 10 to remain 3 up.

Dale, however, got hot at the right time. A birdie on No. 12 sliced his deficit to 2 down and consecutive birdies on No. 14, No. 15 and No. 16 gave him a 1 up lead.

Both players parred No. 17 and Dale's par on No. 18 iced the victory.

Y pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

Trey Dale of Bemidji recovered from a shaky start to claim the Junior Championship crown with a 2 up win over Drew Gumlia of Tustin, Calif.

Dale dropped the first hole after a bogey and Gumlia increased his lead to 3 up by winning No. 5 with a par and No. 8 with a birdie.

Dale won No. 9 but Gumlia claimed No. 10 to remain 3 up.

Dale, however, got hot at the right time. A birdie on No. 12 sliced his deficit to 2 down and consecutive birdies on No. 14, No. 15 and No. 16 gave him a 1 up lead.

Both players parred No. 17 and Dale's par on No. 18 iced the victory.

pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

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Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200
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