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Brian Wierima, Published August 11 2012

Pine to Palm field trimmed down to four

DETROIT LAKES, MInn. – It was a classic showdown between two Detroit Country Club regulars during the Pine to Palm quarterfinals Saturday and the ending of it could propel it to becoming one of the legendary matches of the tournament.

It was a match which ended up being as even as could be, with crucial putts deciding each hole.

But in the end, it was an eagle chip-in which decided the victor.

Frazee’s Beau Hanson qualified for his first Pine to Palm final four, after he made an eagle chip-in on the first playoff hole against 2010 champion Todd Hillier.

The match featured plenty of remarkable shots and Hanson’s chip in for eagle just ended up being the last one.

“Honestly, I was trying to chip it in, or at least get it as close as I could,” Hanson said of the decisive shot. “I read it well and it got on line and luckily, it dropped in.”

The recent Frazee graduate had to endure a manic-like putting clinic Hillier put on the front nine, as the match never saw more than a 1-up lead for either golfer.

Hanson stayed on Hillier’s heels on the front nine, despite the latter sinking four straight putts of 25-feet or longer.

“He was making some crazy putts and I just had to keep going and not let it get into my head,” Hanson said. “I think not letting that affect me, came from my experience from playing (in the Pine to Palm).”

Hillier’s putts included a 25-footer on hole two, a 30-footer on three, a 30-35 footer on four and a birdie putt of 30 feet on five for the win.

Hanson closed it out with a tap in, to force the extra hole and the superb finish.

With many of the holes coming down to high-pressure putts, Hanson decided to bypass that and end it with his chip.

“I was definitely relieved I didn’t have to try another putt,” Hanson said.

Hanson knows how to finish off big tournaments, after he won the Class 1A state his sophomore year as a Frazee Hornet.

“Winning the Pine to Palm, or even getting this far, is a bigger deal than winning state because the competition is so much better,” Hanson said. “Making the final four is huge.”

Hanson’s semfinals opponent will be Eden Prairie graduate Max Rosenthal.

Rosenthal beat Fargo’s Philip Haug 4 and 2 in the quarterfinals.

Another quarterfinal showdown happened between two University of Minnesota senior teammates, as David Haley Jr. made a comeback against Robert Bell to win 1-up in 20 holes.

Haley’s semifinal opponent will be Fargo’s Lukas Davison, who is a junior on the South Dakota State University men’s golf team.

Davison eliminated one of Haley’s Gopher teammates in senior Shang Zhi 4 and 3.

The winners of the semifinal matches will have to gear up for the championship match in the afternoon, which starts at 2:45 p.m.

ROUND OF 16

Philip Haug def. John Miller, 21 holes

Max Rosenthal def. Parker Dire, 22 holes

Beau Hanson def. Nick Olsgaard, 4 and 2

Todd Hillier def. Ben Welle, 2 and 1

Lukas Davison def. Doug Jeans Jr., 4 and 2

Shang Zhi def. Taylor Cavanagh, 2 and 1

David Haley Jr. def. Jon Trasamar, 8 and 7

Robert Bell def. Rick Kuhn, 4 and 2

QUARTERFINALS

Max Rosenthal def. Philip Haug, 4 and 2

Beau Hanson def. Todd Hillier, 19 holes

Lukas Davison def. Shang Zhi, 4 and 3

David Haley Jr. def. Robert Bell, 20 holes

SEMIFINALS (TODAY’S TEE TIMES)

Max Rosenthal vs. Beau Hanson, 7:50 a.m.

Lukas Davison vs. David Haley Jr., 8 a.m.

Wierima writes for the Detroit Lakes Tribune