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Jacobson wins top amateur title

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MAPLE PLAIN -- Andy Jacobson won his sixth straight match in three long days to claim the title of the 34th MGA Players' Championship at Windsong Farm.

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The 32-year-old Willmar insurance agent defeated Tim Hamm of Rush Creek (Maple Grove) 4 and 3.

Jacobson, whose home course is Eagle Creek Golf Club, parred the 499-yard par 4 hole while Hamm bogeyed.

Jacobson never trailed and was two up at the turn after getting a birdie on No. 9, a 635-yard par 5, a hole he also birdied in the morning round.

Play was suspended in the championship match for 1:35 minutes due to lightening near the course south of Maple Plain.

In the morning semifinals, Jacobson held on to defeat Colton Buege, 20, of Rogers 2 and 1.

Jacobson was 5-up 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 layout played at 7,346 yards.

Jacobson held convincing leads at the end of all six matches. He won his first match Monday morning 2 and 1, then took out the next three opponents each 3 and 2 and then Wednesday's victories which ended after the 16th and the 15th.

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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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