Amateur Ben Greve shoots Second Round 64 and wins Minnesota State Open
Ben Greve <br>(Minnesota PGA Photo)</br>
Ben Greve
(Minnesota PGA Photo)

COON RAPIDS, MN (July 24, 2016) -- There will be no repeat for Andrew McCain in this year’s Minnesota State Open presented by Treasure Island Resort & Casino. The title now belongs to amateur Ben Greve of Minneapolis GC who shot a second round 8-under 64 for a 10-under 134 two-day total.

The State Open was reduced to a 36-hole championship after play was suspended on the second day, Saturday, due to severe weather and unplayable conditions. Play resumed this morning, Sunday, at 7:30am for players who had begun their second round yesterday. The rest of the field played their entire second round today.

Greve, a former Golden Gopher and national champion with the team in 2002, finished his first round on Friday at 2-under, good enough for a four-way tie for 14th. “The first day, I was in the trees a lot with my driver,” said Greve. “I just kept getting up and down from tough spots and snuck out a 2-under.”

Yesterday, prior to the suspension of play, Greve was on a mission from the start. “[Yesterday] I was making good putts, having good chances,” said the amateur. “I was kind of disappointed that we stopped because I was playing so well.”

The former Gopher standout began his second round yesterday with a birdie on the par-4, 2nd to move to 3-under for the tournament. He would add two more birdies on the 6th and 9th to go along with no bogeys on the front nine, making the turn at 5-under for the tournament.

He began the back nine with a par on the 10th and followed that up nicely with a birdie on the par-5, 11th; his fourth birdie of the day. Play was suspended as Greve was lining up his 15-foot birdie putt on the par-4, 13th.

“That 15-footer for birdie was my first shot of the day today,” he said. “It was a pretty easy putt with little movement, but you just never know.” After sinking that to begin his day, his remarkable two-day second round was just beginning.

Greve found himself just outside the edge of the green on the par-5, 14th with another birdie opportunity. “I chipped in on the 14th which really got my round going,” he said smiling. Back-to-back birdies after the resumption of play quickly put him at 8-under for the tournament and in sole possession of first place.

“The rest of the way I had good opportunities on every hole,” said Greve. “I was aiming at the center of the green and it kept going right at it; it was fun.”

In what he called his “best shot” of the tournament, Greve stuck his hybrid to within 3-feet off the tee on the par-3, 17th and made his putt for birdie. As an encore, he did nearly the same with his iron shot on the 18th, sticking it to within 5-feet. To no one’s surprise, he made the short birdie putt to close his outstanding 8-under 64 second round and finish 10-under for the State Open.

“I kept thinking yesterday, 10-under might have a chance,” he said. “That was my goal.”

Safe to say, he couldn’t have envisioned a better ending for himself with his dad on the bag caddying for him.

Defending champion Andrew McCain struggled to find his form in the second round after the lay-off yesterday. “I played okay,” said McCain who began the day at 7-under, three shots back of Greve. “It was a bummer that it ended the way it did today.”

The opportunities were there for McCain, especially in the middle of the round with five straight birdie chances. “On holes 8 through 12, I had really good looks at it,” he said. “I just couldn’t convert or get it going. If I get a few there, it may change the course of the round.”

McCain was hoping to cement himself in Minnesota history as one of the few back-to-back State Open champions. The last player to do so was John Harris when he won back-to-back titles in 1994 & 1995 at Bunker Hills Golf Course.

The low professional and second place finisher was Sam Matthew of Dellwood CC who shot 68-68 for a two-day 8-under 136 total. “I was just trying to grind out on the first nine [today] after only hitting one fairway,” said Matthew, a recent graduate of South Dakota and recently turned professional. “It changed for me on the last nine, I was able to eagle the par-5, 3rd and birdie both the 6th and the 9th.”

“I was pleasantly surprised at how well the course handled the water and weather from yesterday,” he said. A true testament to the host facility, Bunker Hills Golf Course.

ABOUT THE Minnesota State Open

Beginning in 1917, the Minnesota State Open is a premiere golf tournament bringing together top professional and amateur players all vying to have their name included with the likes of Les Bolstad, George Shortridge, and Tom Lehman as past champions. An 18-hole qualifier is required for those who do not meet the exemption criteria. Format will be 54-holes of stroke play with a cut to the low 60 and ties after 36 holes.

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