Defending champion Marry Hasselberg of Staples and medalist Alyssa Williamson of Bemidji both advanced to the second round in the ladies championship division of the 82nd annual Birchmont Golf Tournament Wednesday. It wasn't easy for either player as both matches went to the final hole before being decided.
It turned out to be one heck of a birthday for Blackduck's Joe McKean on Wednesday. McKean celebrated his 23rd birthday in style, defeating defending champ Rick Passolt 5-4 in the opening round action of the 82nd annual Birchmont Golf Tournament men's championship division. A recent graduate of St. John's University in Collegeville said he jumped out to a quick lead over Passolt, taking a 3-up lead after five holes. "After that I was thinking I wanted to just keep making pars," McKean said.
It never talks back or questions your club selection. It never stifles a snicker when a shot goes a bit crooked. It'll carry two bags for 18 holes and not break a sweat or expect a tip. The world's most perfect caddy? Well, sort of, but with a technological twist. Rob Noren of Bemidji has caused a definite stir at the Birchmont this week. No matter where he goes on the course his caddy is always there, following six feet behind. Uphill or down hill, through thick rough or down a cart path, the golf cart never hesitates. This is no ordinary golf cart.
If the brackets run true to form, which certainly is no guarantee in match play, teammates from the University of Montana could be facing each other in the Birchmont women's division finals. Bemidji's Alyssa Williamson claimed medalist honors in the women's division Tuesday, firing a 2-over 74 to finish one shot ahead of Fargo's Jenny Henderson. A recent Bemidji High grad, Williamson will continue her golf career playing for the University of Montana this fall. She joins her sister Brittney. Also on the U of Montana team is the defending Birchmont champion, Mary Hasselberg of Staples.
After late afternoon thunder storm was a welcome respite for the Bemidji area which has been wrapped in near drought conditions this summer. But it was a major pain for the organizers of the 82nd annual Birchmont Golf Tournament. Rain, accompanied by lightning, swept through the area at about 5 p.m. The weather forced the suspension of play with a handful of foursomes from the men's championship division still on the course.
As the season-long heat wave continued on yet another summer day in Bemidji Monday, scores didn't quite follow the same sizzling pace during the opening round of the 82nd annual Birchmont Golf Tournament. Bemidji Town and Country Club looked prime and ripe for low scores from a very competitive field, but things didn't quite turn out that way.
The championship field in the junior division was set and the executive division whittled down following opening day action at the 82 annual Birchmont Golf Tournament Monday. The executive division trimmed down to the top 32 players. Following today's qualifying the field will be cut to the top 16 for match play. Scores were a bit higher than expected in the always competitive division as no players were able to break or match par. Bill Freeman of Alexandria took the first day lead for medalist honors with a 1-over 73.
The field is set for the 82nd Annual Birchmont Golf Tournament, set to begin Monday at Bemidji Town and Country Club. As of Saturday evening 230 golfers had signed up to play one of the premier amateur tournaments in Minnesota. "The numbers are a little lighter than last year," said BTCC assistant pro Rick Grand, "but it's a strong field. We're looking forward to a very competitive and enjoyable tournament." Golfers will find a course that is little worse for wear because of the hot and dry summer conditions which have been prevalent in the area for the last two months.
In a professional hockey career that has spanned over 30 years and included jobs from player to general manager, one major accomplishment has eluded Marshall Johnston -- being part of a Stanley Cup winning organization. Until this year, that is. Johnston -- a longtime Bemidji resident -- served as the Director of Pro Scouting for the Carolina Hurricanes during the recently completed season.
Seventy-year-old mother of eight and grandmother of 14. A degenerative eye condition that has led to being diagnosed as legally blind. Hearing loss, requiring the use of two hearing aids. An aneurysm that caused slight short-term memory loss.