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Jacobson reaches Minnesota's Players' Championship final

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DELANO -- Andy Jacobson, 32, of Willmar held on to defeat Colton Buege, 20, of Rogers 2&1 on Wednesday morning in the semifinals of the 34th MGA Players' Championship at Windsong Farm.

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He plays Tim Hamm of Rush Creek GC at Maple Grove for the championship. That match was scheduled to start at 1 p.m. today.

Jacobson, an insurance agent who plays out of Eagle Creek GC, was 5up while shooting 3-under par golf through 11 holes before faltering.

Buege, a redshirt freshman on the Minnesota Gophers golf team, won the next 3 holes as Jacobson went par, double-bogey 6, double-bogey six.

On 15, both golfers bogeyed and Jacobson remained 2-up. When both golfers parred 16 and 17, Jacobson advanced to the finals of one of MGA's most prestigious events.

Jacobson is the current Lakeland Tournament champion and won the Early Bird at Eagle Creek on June 4.

He never trailed in the semifinals, leading 2-up after two holes.

He built the lead to five with a remarkable string of three straight birdies -- a 4 on the 635-yard ninth hole, a 2 on the 191-yard tenth and a 3 on the 422-yard eleventh. But it got exciting when the son of Eagle Creek head pro Joel Jacobson played 5-over golf the next four holes.

It was his fifth match-play victory in the three-day tournament which starts with a 64-player field. Competitors play two matches, walking each round, as long as they keep on winning.

The par 71 course southeast of Delano is playing at 7,346 yards.

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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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