BREEZY POINT, Minn. — Bouncing back from a double-bogey during his round Tuesday, John Anderson fired an even par 72 during the second round of the 94th Minnesota Golf Association Senior Amateur Championship to take the 36-hole lead at Deacon’s Lodge Golf Club.
Anderson opened the championship with a 2-under par 70 Monday and will now carry a three-stroke lead to the final round following his round of 72 Tuesday as Pat Vincelli and David Haslerud will begin the final round tied for second at 145.
“It was a battle—I didn’t really have it today,” Anderson said after his second round Tuesday. “I was lucky and made a couple of five-footers to save par. There was only a half dozen shots that I felt comfortable over today. I scraped it around and if you can do that and shoot 72, I’ll take it.”
Anderson, Bunker Hills Golf Club, began his second round on the back nine and quickly moved to 3-under for the championship after sticking his approach at the par-5 14th to a foot, rolling in a short birdie putt.
He gave back a stroke with a bogey at the 15th, but would turn at 1-under for the round by sinking his four-foot birdie putt at the 18th.
Anderson found trouble at the par-3 third after finding the bunker off the tee and would take a double-bogey to slip to 1-under for the tournament.
He rebounded by dropping an eight-foot birdie at the par-4 fifth and would finish his day on top of the leaderboard as the only player under par through 36 holes at 142.
“It was my scrambling that kept me in it today and I made a couple birdies at opportune times,” he said. “I felt pretty confident coming in but all of the sudden it changed. I just wanted to get in the clubhouse and see where I ended up."
“I like where I’m at and hopefully tomorrow on the range I can get the feel of the club releasing because I was kind of steering today and hanging on.”
Vincelli, Brackett’s Crossing Country Club, followed up his opening-round 73 with another solid round Tuesday, shooting even par 72 with a pair of birdies as well as a pair of bogeys.
Rolling in his birdie at the fourth, Vincelli would get back to even for the championship before taking a bogey at the seventh.
Another bogey at the par-3 11th put Vincelli at 2-over but he would roll in a short birdie at the 18th after putting his approach inside three feet to card a 72 and will begin the final round tied for second place with David Haslerud at 145.
Vincelli finished on top of the Master Division (ages 65 to 74), three strokes better than Mike Fermoyle, who carded a 72 as well Tuesday, finishing with a two-round total of 148.
“I played pretty steady with a birdie and a bogey on each side,” Vincelli said after his round Tuesday. “I kept the ball in play and when I needed to, got up-and-down. Putting was okay—I three-putted twice yesterday but none today.”
“I’m just happy to win the [Master Division], trust me,” Vincelli laughed, “That’s all I care about at my age. No expectations, I just play for the fun of it.”
Haslerud, Southview Country Club, began his second round with a birdie at the second hole, but dropped to 1-over for the round with back-to-back bogeys at the fourth and fifth holes.
After rattling off ten consecutive pars, Haslerud made one final bogey at the par-4 16th to finish his round with a 74, three shots back of Anderson.
“The putts didn’t drop today; I was probably inside six to 12 feet today five or six times and I think two of them went in,” Haslerud said Tuesday. “I hit the ball good—yesterday I hit every fairway and today I hit all but one.”
“I had a couple of bad shots today but got up-and-down for par. I put myself in bad spots related to the pin, but overall it was pretty good. I’m optimistic about tomorrow. It sounds like [Anderson] is playing well but tomorrow I need to take what the course gives me.”
The 94th MGA Senior Amateur Championship concludes Wednesday as tee times are scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. at Deacon’s Lodge Golf Club.
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