Peterson cruises to fifth Minnesota Mid-Amateur title
Trent Peterson (MGA photo)
Trent Peterson (MGA photo)

A string of four consecutive birdies early in his round Thursday at Indian Hills Golf Club in Stillwater lifted Trent Peterson to a seven-stroke victory for his third straight win at the Minnesota Golf Association Mid-Amateur Championship.

Highlighted by his final-round 65 Thursday, Peterson tallied just three bogeys during the 54-hole championship to collect his fifth win in six seasons, tying Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame inductee John Harris for most wins in tournament history.

“That’s good company to be in,” Peterson said after his win Thursday. “I love the feeling of winning. I love tournaments and I love to compete. For me to have the lead and go out and shoot the lowest round of the tournament—I couldn’t be happier.

“I knew there were birdies out there. If I made a couple birdies, minimize my mistakes I figured I should be fine. If I go make birdies, then everyone else has to come catch me, instead of me bringing it back to them.”

Notching his third win of the season for a second time since 2019, Peterson’s win Thursday now gives the 35-year-old 34 state victories since 2002.

“It’s been a good year. I started off really well and had a good month of June,” the four-time MGA Player of the Year said. “I didn’t play that great at the [State Amateur or State Open]. I was struggling with my driver. Since August, I’ve picked it back up again and I feel good with the putter—it’s all feels really good.”

Getting his round started by sinking a 15-footer for par at the first, Peterson went to work by rolling in four consecutive birdies beginning at the second to pull away from the field early, moving to 10-under heading to his final nine holes.

“I finally looked at the scoreboard on 10 and saw I was up by five. I figured it was in that range, but from there it was fairways and greens,” Peterson said. “I didn’t get phased in the early going. I kept my cool and took off.”

Peterson’s “worst shot of the day” came at the 11th, pulling his tee shot into the rough left of the green. Hoping to roll his ball close to save par, Peterson’s second luckily banged into the cup for birdie.

“It had steam and probably would’ve gone into the rough—it was just my day,” he said. “It was all going well, and the hole looked huge.”

A two-putt birdie at the reachable par-4 13th put Peterson up by six at 12-under, and he would convert his birdie chance from six feet at the 16th on his way to a final-round 65.

Edging Justin Burleson in a playoff at the Minnesota Public Golf Association Mid Public Links Championship in early June at Cannon Golf Club, Peterson then cruised to an eight-stroke victory for his second win of the season two weeks later at the 93rd Lakeland Championship at Eagle Creek Golf Club.

Peterson’s first win at the MGA Mid-Amateur Championship came in 2017 at Southview Country Club, posting a final-round 69 to erase a two-stroke deficit in his first year of eligibility at the 30-and-over tournament.

He successfully defended his title the following season at Legends Club, but would sit out the 2019 championship while going back to school.

Leading by one going into the final round of the 2020 championship at Northland Country Club, Peterson edged Troy Johnson to earn his third win in four seasons before running away with the title last season, winning by seven at Eagle Creek Golf Club.

Harris won the inaugural event at Edina Country Club in 1988 before winning three consecutive events from 1990-92. Harris would earn his fifth and final title in 1999 at St. Cloud Country Club.

Claiming his best finish at a state championship Thursday, David Gunderson followed back-to-back rounds of even par 72 during the first two days of competition by posting a bogey-free 6-under 66 to place tied for second at 6-under 210.

Gunderson began his final round with back-to-back birdies at the first and second to move to 2-under for the championship.

Tallying a birdie at the par-5 fifth and another at the ninth, Gunderson turned in 4-under for the round. Slowing his pace slightly over his inward nine Thursday, Gunderson saw his birdie look drop at the 13th and would finish the day with a birdie at the last to card the second lowest round of the week.

Anderson, a two-time winner of both the Lakeland Invitational and the MPGA Combination Championship, got off to a fast start Thursday with three birdies over his first five holes before the only blemish on his scorecard came in the form of a bogey at the seventh.

The 38-year-old Anderson bounced back by sinking his birdie chance at the par-4 eighth to turn in 3-under for the final round. Tallying a pair of birdies over his final nine put Anderson into the clubhouse with his second runner-up finish of the season by shooting 6-under 210.

Bryan Hoops, who began the final round two shots back of Peterson, posted an even par 72 Thursday to finish in fourth at 4-under 212, while the two-time champion Johnson’s 66 on the final day boosted him into fifth place at 3-under 213.

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ABOUT THE Minnesota Mid-Amateur

In 1988, the MGA Mid-Amateur Championship was introduced at Edina Country Club. It is similar to the Amateur except participants must be 30 years or older and have a handicap index of 6.4 or lower. The low 54-hole score determines the winner. It is one of the most popular events, aside from the Amateur, as 264 players start the championship with aspirations of the title.

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