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Minnesota MGA-PGA Cup Matches: 5th Straight Win for Ams
The victorious MGA amateur team (MGA photo)
The victorious MGA amateur team (MGA photo)

WHITE BEAR LAKE, MN (May 30, 2018) – In a repeat of the result from a season ago, the amateurs from the Minnesota Golf Association defeated the professionals from the Minnesota Section of the PGA 25-15 at the 42nd MGA/PGA Cup Matches Wednesday at White Bear Yacht Club.

The PGA still holds a sizable advantage at the event, 27-13-2, but the MGA has notched five straight victories, and six of the last seven, to own the longest winning streak since the PGA won seven straight from 1996-2003.

The women of the MGA were among the bright spots on an otherwise gloomy day as Olivia Herrick and Taylor Ledwein as well as the twosome of Kate Smith and Alexandra Stewart combined for a total of eight points in a winning effort.

Herrick and Ledwein both cruised to victories in their respective individuals matches by a score of 7 and 6, and went on to earn a clean sweep in the four-ball match over Angie Ause and Annemarie Fischer.

“I was hitting the ball really crisp and recovered well,” Ledwein said Wednesday. “I made some really good putts and it was all-around a good day.”

“It was really fun playing with [Herrick], she’s such a good player and she always has fun out there. This was the first time I’ve played in the event; I was an alternate and got it, but it was a lot of fun and I hope to play in it again.”

Ledwein carded three birdies and an eagle on her opening nine, while Herrick added three more birdies to combine for a 5-up lead through nine holes. Herrick rolled in a birdie at the par-4 10th and the two would close out the match at the 12th following a bogey by Ause and Fischer.

“We played great—I’ve a couple of times before but never partnered with her. We really gave ourselves a lot of chances,” Herrick said Wednesday. “I haven’t played much competitively so I wasn’t really sure how I was going to play. I was playing to the middle of the green and either two-putt or get a couple to drop.”

“I love representing the MGA anytime—it’s such an honor for me. I haven’t played in this event for a while but it’s nice to be back and a lot of fun to play.”

The twosome of Alexandra Stewart and Kate Smith won their respective singles matches and combined to defeat professionals Taylor Ramirez and Jody Christensen, 5 and 3, during four-balls.

Justin Burleson and Andy Jacobson added a total of three points to the MGA’s scorecard Tuesday as Burleson found his putting stroke mid-round, winning his singles match over Derek Holmes, 2 and 1, while he and Jacobson combined for a Jacobson defeated Holmes and Paul Speltz, 4 and 3, in the four-ball match.

“It was good to finally make some putts; I hadn’t putted that well so far this year,” Burleson said after his match Wednesday. “The rain started coming down and the ball started dropping. I normally don’t like rain, but it was all right today.

“I think I shot 1-over on the front with two birdies and on the back I shot two or three under and it was all with the putter. I didn’t hit anything different—probably hit the driver a little worse on the back, but I was [making putts] from everywhere.”

Carding three-putt bogies on each of the first two holes, Burleson remained down one to Holmes through nine holes before sinking in a 10-footer for birdie at the 13th to take his first lead of the match.

Rolling in a 40-footer for birdie at the 14th, Burleson took a 2-up lead before drilling his birdie putt from 80 feet at the par-4 15th. Holmes would birdie the 16th to cut into Burleson’s lead momentarily, but fell to Burleson, 2 and 1.

“Andy and I played in this a couple years ago and played well. I like Andy—he’s been our Midwest Cup captain for a few years,” Burleson said. “Our games are pretty similar—we both hit it average distance and straight, but if the putter gets going, then we have a chance to do something.”

“I love this event. These are the ones I enjoy the most—you grow up and play all of these individual events—and those are fun, but there’s something different about the team aspect.”

Leading the way for the professionals was the twosome of Mike Barge and Dale Jones, who swept all four points over amateurs Leif Carlson and John Anderson. Jones made quick work of Carlson, winning 7 and 6, while Jones and Barge earned a 4 and 2 victory in the four-ball format.

“Today was up and down—made a bunch of birdies and some bogeys,” Jones said Wednesday. “Made two nice shots on 11 and 12—I hit it to about a foot both times, so I had a couple of easy tap-ins there.”

“I’ve played in this event quite a few times and I always enjoy the camaraderie and the competition, it’s always fun. We just need to do better.”

Professionals Eddie Wynne and Scott Cole added another four points for the PGA by sweeping the twosome of Sammy Schmitz and Tyler Obermueller.

ABOUT THE Minnesota Cup Matches

Team matches between teams representing the Minnesota Golf Association (MGA) and the Minnesota PGA Section.

Each team is comprised of 20 individuals - 4 Senior Men, 4 Women, and 12 Regular Division Men. Play is in groups of four, with two amateurs and two professionals. The Amateurs will play a Four-Ball team match against the Professionals, while each Amateur plays a Single match against one of the Professionals. Each Four-Ball match is worth two (2) points while each Single match is worth one (1) point. The first team to 20.5 points wins the Cup, but if the matches end in a tie, the team currently holding the Cup will retain it for the next year.

View Complete Tournament Information

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