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GOLF: Skarperud captures Vandersluis title

BEMIDJI -- Chad Skarperud added a Vandersluis title to his collection Monday at Bemidji Town and Country Club. The Fargo, N.D. golfer finished 4 under par, four shots ahead of the nearest competitor, to handily win the men’s championship at the 51st annual Vandersluis Memorial Golf Tournament.

Skarperud posted 71 in each of his first two rounds at the 54-hole stroke play tournament before finishing with his best day yet by carding a final-round 70 Monday. He had previously won men’s and junior division titles at the Birchmont in 1993 and 1987, respectively, but had never captured a Vandersluis title until Monday.

Runner-up Brad Anderson, of Staples, shot 72 each day of the tournament to finish at even par on the weekend. Houston’s Brennan Hockman (74-73-70) finished the tournament in third place at 1 over par, while Bemidji’s Clint Cornell (70-77-71) and Roseau’s Will Czeh (74-73-71) each ended 2 over par to tie for fourth.

Casey Hill, of Virginia, Minn., posted the lowest score of the tournament by shooting 67 in the second round Sunday. He finished sixth overall (79-67-74) at 4 over par.

It took a six-hole playoff to decide the senior men’s championship after JT Johnson, of Eden Prairie, and Bob Cavanagh, of Perham, were even at 7 over par after 54 holes. Johnson (72-73-78) triumphed in the playoff to claim the senior title after Cavanagh (73-74-76) mounted a comeback Monday to force extra holes.

Lakeville’s John Hanson (77-68-79) finished third at 8 over par, while Bemidji’s Jeff Wiltse (72-77-77) and Wayne Caughey (77-75-74), of Naples, Fla., tied for fourth at 10 over par.

Fargo’s Lee Petersen (77-79-82) finished at 22 over par to claim the masters division title, ending Glen Hasselberg’s four-year reign atop the division.

Bemidji’s Rob Jacobson (82-81-80) finished 27 over par to place second. Hasselberg (77-85-86) and Bemidji’s Tom Conzemius (86-81-81) tied for third at 32 over par, and Bemidji’s Dave Hancock (90-81-80) placed fifth at 35 over par.

Staples’ Beck Erholtz (78-80) was victorious in the junior division after a playoff with Fargo’s Jacob Skarperud (77-81). Each golfer had finished at 14 over par following the two-round tournament.