Minn. Four-Ball: Larson, Hawkinson prevail
OWATONNA, Minn. (Aug. 21, 2013) – After Jesse Larson and partner Jordan Hawkinson posted a 65 Tuesday at Owatonna Country Club to take the lead at the 2013 MGA Four Ball Championship, Larson credited Hawkinson’s putter as the main reason for the low score.

“We made the turn and all of the sudden his putter caught fire,” Larson said Tuesday.

The pair also emphasized the importance of getting off to a fast start with the flat iron for a second consecutive day to have a chance at the title—which is easier said than done.

Though Hawkinson’s putter merely sparked on the first nine holes Wednesday, by the 12th hole it was again fully engulfed in flames as the two made five birdies on the final nine holes to capture the title by one stroke, finishing at 129.

“We got off to a better start than yesterday,” Larson said after the victory. "We felt good at 8-under and we got above the hole on nine and [Hawkinson] had about a five-foot downhiller that he barely touched and it trickled in and that was the putt that really got us going. We felt the momentum swing in our favor and we felt like we had a good chance.”

Hawkinson, Chisago Lakes Golf Course, and Larson, LeSueur Country Club, carded three birdies and a bogey on the front nine to make the turn 2-under par, 8-under for the tournament.

On the par-5 10th hole, Larson had an eagle putt from the back edge of the green and rolled it to two feet where he tapped in for birdie to keep the momentum rolling.

Following a par at the 11th, Hawkinson singlehandedly took control of the tournament, draining three consecutive birdies to move his team to 12-under. But perhaps the most impressive and most important putt of the tournament came on the 15th hole.

After Hawkinson and Larson both found the left rough off the tee, Larson’s second missed the green short-right. Hawkinson’s second landed safely on the green but rolled to the back edge, 35 feet from the cup.

Hawkinson hit a big, right to left putt which appeared to run out of gas but it somehow fell over the front lip of the cup for birdie to put the two at 13-under par. The team would make par on the final three holes to finish at 129 and slip past the team of Trent Peterson and Jon Trasamar and the duo of Jesse Polk and Ben Clymer, who both finished at 12-under par 130.

“I made a good putt on 12 and it was like, ‘okay, there’s the putter,’” Hawkinson said.

“We birdied the two par-5s and his putter went crazy again,” Larson said. “The back nine we shot 30 for the second day in a row and besides the huge bomb on 15, we just made a lot of 10 to 15-foot birdie putts. We had good solid putts; we read the greens well and really worked well together.”

With the win Wednesday, Larson earns MGA points for the first time this season while Hawkinson has put together a consistent 2013 season.

He finished as runner-up to Trent Peterson at the MPGA State Match Play Championship, he had a third place finish Sunday at the MPGA State Public Links and finished tied for 13th at the Minnesota State Open.

“It feels pretty darn good. We’ve been eyeing this championship up for a while. It feels good to put your name on any MGA title, especially a team event because you have to play really well,” Hawkinson said.

“We’re really good friends and when we paired up three years ago, we thought we had a good chance to win this and it’s nice to see that come through. It’s a nice way to make the year feel better than it has,” Larson said.

Finishing in a tie for second, Polk, Hastings Country Club, and Clymer, Hazeltine National Golf Club, posted an 8-under par 63 Wednesday. The two made four birdies on the opening nine holes to quickly get to 8-under par at the turn.

On the final nine holes the pair would make five birdies with the only mistake coming on the par-3 11th hole, where they made bogey.

“We had one mistake on the 11th hole to make bogey, otherwise we played really well,” Clymer said.

“Obviously you want to win, but hats off to [Hawkinson] and [Larson], that’s a good number on back-to-back days,” Polk said.

Peterson, Valleywood Golf Course, and Minnesota Gopher Jon Trasamar finished tied for second as well, also posting a final round 8-under par 63.

The duo got hot immediately as they made four consecutive birdies to start the round but finished the front nine with five straight pars. On the final nine holes the two recorded five birdies but a bogey on the 16th hole would prove fatal as the combo fell one stroke short of the eventual winners.

“We played really well today. We thought if we were eight or nine under that we would be close,” Trasamar said.

“[Trasamar] played great—we had nine birdies as a team and he had six of them,” Peterson laughed. “He played well and I was there to support him. Except on the 16th hole, we both bogeyed that one.”

ABOUT THE Minnesota Four-Ball

For those players who enjoy team competition, the MGA Four-Ball has been an institution since 1962. The Four-Ball is a two-man, 36-hole best-ball competition.

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