BEMIDJI -- The 52nd annual Vandersluis Memorial Golf Tournament is set to tee off today at the Bemidji Town and Country Club. The 54-hole, stroke-play tournament will take place over three days before concluding Monday, Sept. 2.
Chad Skarperud of Fargo, N.D., is back to defend his 2018 men’s championship title. Skarperud is also a former Birchmont champion, winning the men’s and junior titles in 1993 and 1987, respectively.
Other former winners from the past decade in the men’s championship field include Josh Bergrud (2017) of Grand Forks, N.D., Will Czeh (2016) of Roseau, Toby Palmiscno (2015) of Bemidji, and Chris Curb (2010) of Bemidji.
Neither of last year’s senior men’s or master’s champions -- JT Johnson and Lee Petersen -- will defend their titles. However, both of the 2017 winners in those divisions -- Apple Valley’s Bruce Hegland and Staples’ Glen Hasselberg -- are in the field this weekend to contend for another title.
The event began in 1958 and was known as the Founder’s Day tournament until 1967, when it was changed to the Vandersluis Memorial. As of Friday, there were 138 entrants from seven states and two provinces in this year’s event.