Brian Wierima, Published August 15 2009
Hanson showing no rookie jitters
Hanson didn’t waste any-time introducing himself to the field of the 77th Pine to Palm after qualifying for the Sweet 16 in his first year of eligibility to play.
The 16-year-old golfer from Frazee, Minn., had to give away his first free entry into the Pine to Palm last year to his father after winning the Detroit Country Club men’s league championship, since he was too young to play in it.
But after winning his second DCC men’s league championship last month, Hanson was primed to make his mark in his home golf course’s prestigious tournament.
“I expected to make match play and I knew I could make it this far,” the soft-spoken Hanson said. “I was confident I could do well.”
Hanson also knows how to play high-pressure golf, after finishing fourth as a freshman in the Min-nesota Class 1A state boys golf tournament in June.
Most sophomores in high school would shy away from taking on college-aged golfers, but Hanson hasn’t been affected by that intimidation factor this week and enters as the youngest qualifier in the Sweet 16.
He earned his berth for match play with a qualifying rounds of 72-76 for a six-over par 148.
Although match play was pretty new to Hanson, he has built insurmountable leads in the first two rounds, topping Moorhead’s Nick Olsgaard 5 and 4 Thursday in the opening round.
Hanson proceeded to start quick again Friday in round two, building a 5-up lead after six holes on Brian O’Connell.
His mistake-free golf helped him gain the big edge after taking birdie on one and winning by par on holes two, five and six.
Hanson needed that 5-up cushion, as O’Connell trimmed the deficit down to two holes and didn’t allow the Frazee golfer to win a hole until 15.
But Hanson captured 15 with par to punch his ticket to the final round of 16.
Hanson has been a quick learner in match play as he duels against his elder counterparts.
“I’ve just learned how to cope with the pressure and how to keep it going after you have built a lead,” Hanson said. “I just go out there and play my game and not worry about my opponent’s game.”
Oxbow’s 17-year-old Amy Anderson shot 5-under par during her match against Wade Walters to advance to the third round with a 3 and 1.
Anderson made birdie on 16 to cap her match, after once again playing her usual consistent fairway-to-green golf.
“She doesn’t miss the center of the fairway,” Walters said. “I knew after shooting a 69-69 in qualifying, I had to shoot better than that to beat her. She is so steady out there.”
Anderson – the first fe-male to qualify for Pine to Palm Championship match play – will try to keep her historical pace going today where she will face the oldest competitor remaining in 53-year-old Scott Linnerooth, who won 2 and 1 over 2006 runner-up Jason Rudquist.
It was business as usual for the top three seeds, as defending champion Ben Freeman downed veteran Todd Hillier of Hoople, N.D. 5 and 4, while the co-medalists of Tom Hoge and Clinton Boutelle won going away, as well.
Ben Freeman def. Todd Hillier 5 and 4.
Thomas Campbell def. Patrick Thomas, 19 holes.
Jeff Lamp def. Ben Wood 2 and 1.
Rick Kuhn def. Geoff Pirkl 5 and 3.
Beau Hanson def. Brian O’Connell, 3 and 2.
Ryan Vincelli def. Anthony Cordes 19 holes.
Cameron White def. Chris Braaten 1-up.
Jon Sauer def. Thomas Welk 5 and 4.
Clinton Boutelle def. Pat Deitz 4 and 3.
Justin Jenkins def. Mike Huber 2 and 1.
Amy Anderson def. Wade Walters 3 and 1.
Scott Linnerooth def. Jason Rudquist 2 and 1.
Tom Hoge def. A.J. Olson 3 and 2.
Max Hosking def. Nick Krattiger 5 and 4.
Mike Balzer def. Garrett Gosh 3 and 2.
Mark Halverson def. Ben Bergquist 3 and 2.
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