LAKEVILLE, Minn. (June 18, 2014) – As if playing four rounds of golf in two days wasn’t grueling enough, three of the four quarterfinal matches at the 15th Minnesota Golf Association Senior Players’ Championship needed to be decided in extra holes Wednesday at Brackett’s Crossing Country Club.
Once the dust settled and sweat was wiped clear, Pat Vincelli and Leif Carlson were the two left standing Wednesday as Vincelli defeated defending champion Steve Whittaker to advance to the finals, 2 and 1, while Carlson needed 20 holes to get past 2013 MGA Senior Men’s Player of the Year, Jim Lehman.
Vincelli, Brackett’s Crossing Country Club, needed 20 holes to defeat David Steingart, Edina Country Club, during Wednesday morning’s quarterfinal round, while Whittaker downed Jerry Rose, Alexandria Golf Club, in 22 holes during his quarterfinal match.
Normally good friends, Whittaker and Vincelli were opponents on this occasion and went back and forth all round as the match saw five different lead changes.
“It was a great day. The funny thing is I was originally seeded number 32 because I was the senior club champ, but I didn’t want to play my friend [Whittaker], so I tried to qualify, which I did, and was re-seeded at 13,” Vincelli joked after his semifinal victory.
“It allowed another Brackett’s member to qualify, but as it turned out I had to play [Whittaker] anyway. He’s just a sweetheart—I loved playing with him,” he said. “It was a very relaxing round. He’s such a great player and even better person.”