Andrew Israelson (MGA photo)
Andrew Israelson and Parker Reddig have met in match play before. In fact, the two faced off in the quarterfinals of the Minnestoa Players Championship a year ago. That day, Reddig created some late-round fireworks by carding an eagle on the 17thhole as the two would play 21 holes before Israelson rolled in a birdie to advance to the semifinals.
The two met again Wednesday in the finals of the 41st MGA Players’ Championship at Pebble Creek Golf Club, but it was Israelson who pulled away late and hung on to get the better of Reddig for a second straight season, giving Israelson his first Players’ title.
“Last year we both played good, but it was a lot like this year’s match where we each had about three or four mishaps and opened the door for the other guy,” Israelson said of his rematch with Reddig Wednesday. “I was a little squirrely off the tee, but I still scrambled well.
“My game’s been struggling a little bit at the start of the summer, but I really thought I found my putting. My wedge game is solid and I’m really happy with the way I struck the ball. I just love playing MGA Tournaments—it’s great to meet new people and see the old faces as well. I’m only 21, but it seems like I’ve been around a while.”
Israelson, who will begin his senior season at North Dakota State University this fall, adds another win to his golf resume, which already includes a win at the 2018 MGA Mixed Amateur Team Championship, two Birchmont titles and a victory at the Minnesota State Junior Boys’ Championship just weeks after his individual win at the Class AA tournament.
He was the first recipient of the Mr. Golf award in 2016, given to the best male golfer during his senior season.
“Last year I played really well in the summer and didn’t win a single tournament. It feels nice to get a win early and definitely helps the confidence,” Israelson said. “It’s nice to get a win before [USGA qualifiers and MGA State Amateur]. It shows me I can compete with all the people at this level and help me compete at a higher level.”
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ABOUT THE Minnesota Players Championship
After the MGA Amateur changed from a match
play to stroke play format in 1967, the MGA
was without a match-play championship. That
changed when the Players' Championship was
created and first hosted in 1979 at Interlachen
Country Club, Edina. The MGA annually invites
the state's top 17 amateurs to participate
along with 47 qualifiers from a field of over
300. Only 64 golfers compete during three
days of match-play competition. The strong
field always provides for an exciting
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