EDINA, MN (June 22, 2005) -– Parker Pemberton of Hazeltine National Golf Club, the 53rd seed in the 27th MGA Players’ Championship at Dellwood Hills Golf Club in Dellwood, Minn., won his first MGA title today by beating Joe Stansberry of Hiawatha Golf Club 2&1.
Pemberton, who was up against one of the most decorated amateur players in Minnesota history in Stansberry (1997 MGA Player of the Year, 1996 MGA Amateur champ and 1995 MGA Players’ champ among his many titles), won the match with a bogey on the 17th hole.
"I wasn’t nervous," said a beaming Pemberton. "No one expected me to beat Joe, so I used that to my advantage by firing at pins and making birdies."
In total, Pemberton recorded six birdies on the day and shot a four-under-par 32 on the front side during the championship match. Not to be outdone, Stansberry nearly equaled Pemberton’s performance shooting two-under-par 34.
Stansberry got things rolling early on the par-4 second hole when he holed his approach shot from 150 yards for an eagle two. But Pemberton responded, rolling in birdies on the par-3 third hole and par-5 fourth hole.
"I wanted to show that I could play and that I wouldn’t just roll over," said Pemberton.
After establishing a 2-up lead after 11 holes, Pemberton let Stansberry back in the match by three-putting the par-3 12th and the par-4 13th. Again, Pemberton responded with a birdie on the par-5 14th to tie Stansberry and stay 1-up in the match.
After Stansberry squared the match up on the par-3 15th with a par, Pemberton again responded by making a "great par" on the par-4 16th to go 1-up with two holes to play.
On the par-5 17th Pemberton and Stansberry both hit their tee shots left in the trees. After Pemberton puched out with an iron, Stansberry hit his 3-wood out of bounds, which led to a double-bogey and squashed any hopes of a second Players’ title.
For Pemberton, it’s his first MGA title. But the 19-year-old freshman from the University of Minnesota hopes he can use this victory as a springboard to other personal goals.
"My dream is to play Division-1 golf," said Pemberton.
For complete match play ladder results, click on the tournament link above (amateurgolf.com membership required).