Trent Peterson, the 2017 Minnesota Mid-Amateur champion
WEST ST. PAUL, MN (September 13, 2017) – Trent Peterson’s trophy case got a little more crowded Wednesday after the 2014 Minnesota Golf Association Men’s Player of the Year posted a final-round 69 to win the 30th MGA Mid-Amateur Championship by one stroke over Andy Jacobson at Southview Country Club.
Peterson erased a two-stroke deficit with only five holes remaining, sinking a short birdie putt on the final hole to win his second Mid-Amateur championship of the season in his first year of eligibility at the 30-and-over state events.
“I’m excited to win. It’s the first year I was eligible to play—I just turned 30,” Peterson said Wednesday. “It was kind of a surprise starting with such a bad first round. I’m pretty happy.
“As long as I putted better than I did on Monday, I figured that’d be okay, and I did. The driver was really good again and I took advantage of the par-5’s and that was kind of the key and I didn’t make any mistakes other than the first two holes.”
Peterson began the championship with a round of 3-over par 74 at Southview on Monday, but bounced back with a round of 68 during Round Two Tuesday at Dakota Pines Golf Club.
“The first round I hit the ball good, but I think I three-putted four or five times,” Peterson said of his first look at Southview Monday. “I just couldn’t get that first putt close. I’d have 20 feet for my second putt or 10 feet for my second putt. It was really frustrating.
“I’m a little more familiar with Dakota Pines, so I played better, it was a little shorter and hit some wedges in there and made better putts.”
Teeing off on the 10th tee Wednesday Peterson failed to get up-and-down from the bunker on the opening hole and made a second bogey after flying the green long at the par-4 11th. He bounced back with a birdie at the 12th, hitting his approach inside of eight feet left of the flag and converted birdie to limit the early damage, getting back to 1-over for the championship.
Peterson nuked his second shot onto the green at the par-5 17th, two-putting for birdie to get back to even par for the final round as he turned two shots back of Jesse Bull and Jacobson.
“I was happy to get back to even—a little disappointed that I didn’t birdie 18,” Peterson said. “No damage, really. I didn’t know where I was at, but I wasn’t going backwards and I know there’s some birdie holes on the front.”
Reaching the par-5 fourth, Peterson again made an easy two-putt for birdie to pull within one of Jacobson with five to play. Peterson drove the green on the final hole and two-putted for birdie and the victory after a bogey by Jacobson at the eighth and a par on the final hole.
“It was really the perfect driver on nine,” Peterson said of his aggressive play on the final hole. “I didn’t know where I was at until I looked on the tee box at nine. I hit a good one onto the green and two-putted for birdie.”
With the end of the season on the horizon, Peterson said he couldn’t have pictured a better victory late in the year.
“It’s perfect—the season’s coming to a close and September you kind of put the clubs in the bag sometimes because it’s colder. It’s fun to finish on a high note moving forward to the U.S. Mid-Amateur.”
Though he’s been eligible for the U.S. Mid-Amateur for the past five years, Peterson earned his first trip to the national event two weeks ago, shooting 3-under par 69 at Indian Hills Golf Club in Stillwater, Minn.
Peterson’s list of achievements continues to grow as he picks up his second win of the season Wednesday after he defeated Justin Burleson to win the MGA Mid-Players’ Championship at St. Cloud Country Club in June, bringing his career total to 17 state amateur victories. This season alone, Peterson has collected eight top-10 finishes.
Winner of the MGA Mid-Players’ Championship last season, Jacobson had his chances to add another Mid-Amateur title to his credit Wednesday, playing with the lead for most of the round until stumbling late in the round.
“I felt really good out there and was hanging in there, but I’m so disappointed on how I finished,” an obviously frustrated Jacobson said after his round Wednesday. “I felt like I was playing solid and wish I could’ve made a few more putts, but I made a lot of testy par putts again.
“I love this stuff, but it’s so frustrating to come that close. Hats off to Trent, he’s solid and plays smart and he deserves to win with what he shot today.”
Playing in the final group with Bull and Scott Fenwick and starting on the tenth tee, Jacobson appeared to take control of the final round by posting a solid front nine with one long birdie putt, a couple of good up-and-downs and sizable putts to save par.
With his 18-foot putt at the par-3 15th, Jacobson moved to 2-under and into the lead. Unfazed by several difficult and tucked pin locations, Jacobson took aim at the flagstick at the par-4 third and put his approach inside of three feet, leading to a birdie to get to 3-under.
His first bogey of the round came at the par-3 fifth, dropping his to 2-under before an important up-and-down to save par at the par-5 sixth. Jacobson fired at a dangerous pin at the par-4 seventh, stopping his ball 10 feet from the flag, but was unable to convert his quick, downhill birdie look.
Struggling to find the tee at the eighth, Jacobson hit a poor chip and was unable to save par from 20 feet. Trailing Peterson by one stroke on the final tee, Jacobson hit an iron into the trees left of the fairway, but hit a spectacular punch to recover, rolling his shot to five feet with a chance for birdie to pull even with Peterson, but was unable to sink his birdie chance.
Bull, the 2014 MGA Amateur champion, entered Wednesday’s final round as the 36-hole leader after shooting 2-under par 69 to open the championship at Dakota Pines before posting an even par 71 Tuesday at Southview.
After his second round Bull said the key to the final round would be to find the consistency he displayed during the first two rounds, unfortunately for Bull that wasn’t the case early Wednesday as he three-putted the tenth hole to quickly erase his slim lead.
“The three-putt was fine, you can get through that, it’s not a great start, but I felt like I was playing on the defensive all day because I didn’t feel really good,” Bull said after his round Wednesday. “I tried to be calm and maintain, and I think I did fine doing that, but it’s hard to fake confidence. I just didn’t have great confidence today."
Finding the hazard left of the fairway at the par-4 14th, Bull took a drop but hit a spectacular third shot that rolled to the back-right of the green 12 feet from the cup. He would escape with just a bogey, but fell a shot off Jacobson’s lead.
Reaching both the 17th and 18th greens in two, Bull had a pair of two-putt birdies to quickly jump back into contention after posting an even par 35 on his front nine to regain a share of the lead at 2-under for the championship.
After a dropped shot with a lip-out for par at the second, Bull drained a 20-footer for birdie at the par-5 fourth to pull within one of Jacobson, but sealed his fate with a poor tee shot at the fifth, which landed in thick grass well right of the green, leading to double-bogey. He would par his final four holes to finish in third place at even par 213.
“I have been struggling with my tee ball a little bit and it started early—I never hit a good drive today. Everything else was pretty solid, but the driver leaked into my irons and leaked into my confidence.
“To get the experience, you have to be in the final group and every time you get there, it’s good for you. I’ve had a pretty rough summer, but I was leading going into today and knew I had to shoot under par. It was just a challenge for me today.”
Burleson posted a 1-under par 70 for the second straight day and would finish tied for fourth along with Jason Pendleton at 1-over par 214. Wednesday’s result is the fourth top-5 finish for Burleson this season, including two runner-up finishes at the MGA Players’ and MGA Mid-Players’ Championships.
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