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Jeff Kolpack, Published July 12 2013

Friends pitted against each other at F-M All-City

MOORHEAD – As if the weather gods weren’t tough enough with the wind and heat at Village Green Golf Course on Friday, the pairings gods did a number on best friends. The buddy system took a hit.

Bryant Buckellew, for instance, was paired with best friend Andrew Strand after the morning qualifying medal round in the Fargo-Moorhead All-City tournament. Buckellew won 4 and 3.

“It was just like another match,” Buckellew said. “If you’re a good player in the wind, you probably played pretty well today.”

As usual, the championship flight was dominated by the younger generation, with most players in their late teens or early 20s. That made the first-round pairing of 46-year-old Mike McFeely against 47-year-old Tom Welle all the more cruel for the sentimental gods.

Both have played a lot of golf with each other over the years.

“The random pairings turned out not to be so random,” said Corey Herlickson, the tournament director and head pro at Meadows.

The veterans even had to go extra holes, with McFeely winning on the first extra hole when Welle three-putted No. 1 green. The fact they played each other with a championship flight of 32 players was ironic – McFeely shot a 74 and Welle 80 in qualifying.

“Being the two oldest players in the tournament, I think we both were disappointed to play each other right away,” Welle said.

He said that after playing 37 holes in one day, although at least Welle had the benefit of a golf cart during match play.

“Good thing he had a cart,” Buckellew said with a smile.

Said Welle: “Surprisingly, I feel pretty good. If somebody told me I had to play 37 holes, I would have told them no way I would make it.”

Defending champ Trenton Olson won his opening-round match 3 and 2 over Aaron Pallen. The second round today moves to Rose Creek for the round of 16 and the quarterfinals.

The semifinals and finals are Sunday at Meadows in Moorhead. McFeely, by the way, plays teenager Tyler Rivard in this morning’s match.

“Mike is a better golfer than I am nine times out of 10,” Welle said. “It will be interesting to see if he can get through.”

Medal qualifying

69: Holland

72: Papachek

73: Carlson, Anderson

74: Miller, McFeely

75: Thorson

76: R. Johnson, J. Johnson, Rivard

77: Reuter, Auginbaugh, Strand, Stetmon

78: McIlhaney

79: Bates, Buckellew, C. Pulczinski, Cowden, Wobaum, Swangler, Siverson, Goff, Molzahn.

80: Welle, Elliott

81: Medenwald, Schwab, A. Pulczinski, Stavenger, Pollen.

82: Halverson, Pallen, Lillestol, Larson.

Match play

First round

Olson def. Pallen 3 and 2. McIlhaney def. Bates, 5 and 4. Thorsen def. Molzahn 3 and 1. R. Johnson def. Goff 7 and 6. Carlson def. Schwab 8 and 6. Cowden def. Auginbaugh 6 and 5. Anderson def. Medenwald 2-up. Reuter def. Swanger 5 and 3. Holland def. Stavenger 2-up. Buckellew def. Strand 6 and 4. McFeely def. Welle 1-up, 19 holes. Rivard def Wobaum 3 and 2. Papachek def. A. Pulczinski 8 and 6. Sletmoen def. C. Pulczinski 4 and 3. Elliott def Miller 2 and 1. J. Johnson def. Siverson 1-up, 20 holes.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia