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Jeff Kolpack, Published August 30 2010

Bobcat North Dakota Open: Ohio golfer Ailes ends 6 years of near-wins

Tim Ailes has become a familiar name on the final day of the Bobcat North Dakota Open. On Sunday, the golfer from Lewis Carter, Ohio, finally broke through ending six years of near misses.

He rarely flinched all day in a closing 68 to claim the Dakotas Tour tournament by five shots at the Fargo Country Club.

Ailes, the Dakotas’ money leader coming into Fargo, had rounds of 69-65-68–202 and further staked his claim to the Tour’s top player.

He’s on a roll having won in Minot, N.D., last weekend and has earned over $60,000 in 16 tournaments making the cut in all 16.

“It’s been pretty solid all year,” he said. “I’ve stayed away from the big numbers. I have a baby on the way so maybe that’s why.”

He claimed the $10,000 first prize plus a $4,500 entry fee to the PGA Tour Qualifying tournament, or Q-School as it is known. That’s the next step for Ailes.

His best previous North Dakota Open finish was third place.

“I just never put it together late in the tournament,” Ailes said. “Then I started pressing and missing putts. Today, I made them.”

Mike Barge and Ben Kern finished in a tie for second at 207. At 9-under, it was the 55-year-old Barge’s best North Dakota Open score.

Barge can look back at just one poor swing the entire tournament – a 6-iron on his last hole on Saturday that resulted in a triple bogey 7. So instead of entering Sunday’s final round one shot back, he was four behind Ailes and Thomas Campbell.

Playing the back nine first, Barge’s approach on the par-4 ninth yanked left landed a foot out of bounds.

“I was not in a very good mood yesterday and I thought my chances were over,” he said.

But he made the front nine turn on Sunday with a 3-under 33 and had a couple of chances to pull within a couple of shots. He missed a relatively short birdie putt on the par-5 11th and a birdie attempt on No. 12 just missed.

A bogey on the par-3 15th put him four shots back and Ailes’ birdie minutes later on No. 14 made it a five-shot advantage and closed the door.

Bobcat ND Open final results


Tim Ailes, $10,000 69-65-68–202

Ben Kern, $4,500 72-65-70–207

Mike Barge, $4,500 68-70-69–207

Thomas Campbell, $3,000 68-66-76–210

Bryce Hanstad, $2,233 68-69-74–211

Ben Pisani, $2,233 75-65-71–211

A.J. Elgert, $2,233 72-68-71–211

Amateur (Gross)

Rick Kuhn 73-74-70–217

Andy Doeden 75-67-76–218

Ben Welle 73-73-74–220

Clayton Johnson 74-74-75–223

Amateur (Net)

Chad Niles 71-71-70–212

Myron Strand 72-72-73–216

David Booth 76-71-72–219

Randy Debolt 79-76-66–221

Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the WDAY Golf Show, 10-11 a.m. on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia