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Tribune photo by Rand Middleton After leaving his approach well short of the 18th green, Dan Anderson pitches to within a few feet of the cup and putted-out for par to win the Eagle Creek Early Bird with a 3-under 105 late Sunday afternoon.

Golf: Anderson steady to the wire at Early Bird

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WILLMAR — Dan Anderson had no expectations Sunday morning at the Eagle Creek Early Bird.

There just hadn’t been enough time, let alone accommodating weather, to bring his golf game up to par.

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But by playing steady golf through a morning rain delay he came to the 27th hole at 5:30 p.m. in the lead. After a great drive, he muffed his approach shot but made a smooth chip shot to within a few feet of the hole to finish with a par.

“I’m very happy,” said the local banker, who played golf for the Willmar Cardinals and later the St. Cloud State Huskies. “This is the first time I came into the Early Bird not expecting to win.”

He nearly didn’t. He pulled ahead of Jon Hanner when the St. Paul golfer took a double-bogey on No. 15. The 2013 Little Crow Shortstop champ had started with a 5-under 67 to Anderson’s 69. Anderson shot nines of 37-32-36—105 (3-under) to Hanner’s 35-32-39—106 to win his sixth title at Eagle Creek.

Few tournaments are won at Eagle Creek without going head-to-head with Andy Jacobson. But Eagle Creek’s victory leader this century took himself out of contention the opening front nine with a 41. He was two-under the next 18 and finished at 111, tied for fifth with Josh Hagstrom, the pro at Island Pine.

Tying for third were Peter Hannig and Shane Barnes (Bloomington) at 110.

Red Johnson shot 115 to win Seniors. Riley Grabow, a Willmar High School junior-to-be, won the first-flight match play.

The Shortstop was cancelled due to heavy rains Friday evening and on Saturday.

Men’s Open (22 entries) — Dan Anderson 69-36-105, Jon Hanner 67-39-106, Shane Barnes 73-37-110, Pete Hannig 72-38-110, Josh Hagstrom 77-34-111, Andy Jacobson 77-34-111, Jim Anderson 77-35-112, Bart Bradford 79-35-114, Joey Dreier 76-40-116, Stevin Carlson 79-37-116

SENIORS (12 entries) — Scott Red Johnson 115, Nortm Strehlow 119, Ken Warzecha 119, Jim Schammel 119, Jon Hagge 122

FIRST FLIGHT (8 entries) — Championship: Riley Grabow def. Tom Anderson 11 holes ... Consolation: Mark Olson def. Stephen Stuhr

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334
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