Jesse Polk (left) and Sammy Schmitz (Minn. G.A. photo)
HASTINGS, Minn. (May 22, 2016) – The last time Jesse Polk and Sammy Schmitz paired up together on the golf course, the two fired a final-round 63 to claim the 2016 International Four-Ball Championship Mid-Amateur Division in February at The Fox Club in Palm City, Fla.
After opening the 2016 Minnesota Public Golf Association Four-Ball Championship with an 11-under par 62 Saturday, the two cruised to a four-stroke victory at 16-under par 130 Sunday, carding a 68 during the final round at Emerald Greens Golf Club.
“We played very well,” Schmitz said Sunday, “We both putted really well and both made a few good-size putts. We didn’t do anything crazy, it was all putting.”
Polk added that the two birdied the final six holes to close out the opening round Saturday.
“We only had a three-shot lead and you can easily lose that after nine holes,” Schmitz said. “The plan is to try to birdie the first hole and keep going; you don’t really put much thought to it after that.”
J.T. Johnson and Nick Jarrett fired an 8-under 65 during Sunday’s final round to finish four strokes back at 134 after a 69 during the opening round Saturday. Along with Trent Peterson, Johnson won the event in 2013 at Eastwood Golf Club before earning a three-shot victory a year ago at Rum River Hills Golf Club.
Polk rolled in his birdie chance at the par-4 third hole Sunday to move the two to 12-under for the tournament before sinking another birdie at the fifth. A bogey at the sixth hole put Polk and Schmitz back at 12-under, but the two would turn at 13-under after both rolled in birdies at the par-5 ninth hole.
Making birdie on two of the first three holes to begin the back nine Sunday, Polk and Schmitz moved to 15-under for the championship before both players found trouble off the tee at the 16th.
Polk reached the green with his fourth shot and would sink his par putt from 15 feet to keep the duo at 15-under before they added one final birdie at the par-5 17th and the two would finish at 16-under 130.
“We made a couple pars, couple birdies and then a bad bogey on six,” Schmitz said. “We were 1-under through six and we fought our way through and birdied a few of the par-5’s and didn’t make any more bogeys, which you can definitely do out here.”
Opening with a 2-under par 69 at the 60th International Four-Ball in February, Polk and Schmitz fired a 6-under par 65 during the second round before erasing a four-shot deficit during the final round, shooting a 63 on the final day to win by three shots.
“We went in not knowing what to expect,” Polk said Sunday, “There were a lot of very good [Mid-Amateur] players down there and the first day we didn’t do so hot, but we progressively got better. That’s part of learning a golf course that you’ve only seen twice.”
“There were some top-ranked [Mid-Amateurs] down there and seven or eight really good teams, I thought,” Schmitz said. “The conditions were tough the last day and we played phenomenal. We rolled in some putts down the stretch at the right time.”
Polk and Schmitz notched a four-stroke victory at the 2014 MGA Four-Ball Championship after an opening-round 60 at Owatonna Country Club, following it with a 7-under par 65 during the final round. The two finished second behind Andrew McCain and Hudson Carpenter at the MGA Four-Ball in 2015.
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