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Vandersluis golf tourney beginst Saturday at Bemidji Town & Country Club

The three-day Vandersluis golf tournament begins today at Bemidji Town & Country Club.

Bruce Hegland of Apple Valley returns to the field to defend his men's championship this season along with defending senior men's champion Bruce Simenson of Bemidji.

There will be 170 golfers participating in the Vandersluis this weekend. There are 54 golfers in the men's championship, 25 in the senior men's championship, 42 in the men's regular, 22 in the ladies regular, 21 in the senior men's regular and six in the masters division.

There are 38 golfers from Bemidji participating in the event.

Local favorites in the men's championship include Neil Rude, who forced a playoff last year but lost on the first playoff hole on Hegland's chip-in on No. 1 at BTCC.

Scott Anderson, who played well at the Birchmont this year by shooting 142 over two qualifying rounds is also in the Vandersluis.

Kevin Krigbaum and Toby Palmiscno are young guns entered and have the talent to make a run at the title.

Birchmont regulars Pete Passolt, Rick Passolt, Clint Cornell are entered into the Vandy.

Canada will be well represented in the Vandersluis with 17 players making the trip from Fort Frances, Ontario to play in the tournament.

The senior men's championship should be highly competitive this weekend.

Birchmont senior champion Jack Seiberlich and super senior champion Joe Mayer are in the field along with former Birchmont multiple-division champion Glen Hasselberg.