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Jeff Kolpack, Published August 25 2013

Metzger wins Bobcat Open with key advice from wife, who is also his caddie

FARGO – The short birdie putt on hole No. 15 at the Bobcat North Dakota Open golf tournament didn’t go so well for Andre Metzger, and as he headed to the tee box on the short par-4 16th, he was thinking driver. Again.

Then the voice of reason spoke: his wife Kim Metzger, who during the summer doubles as his caddie.

“We talked about it,” she said, reminding him he had yet to birdie the hole in the first two rounds. “I saw guys way left and way right and I said ‘how about we try something different.’ ”

He did. Metzger hit a 5-iron down the middle on the dogleg-right hole. His 106-yard approach with a 56-degree wedge ended up 105 yards and 11 inches. The tap-in birdie was the key moment in his three-shot win over Chris Evans Sunday afternoon at the Fargo Country Club – his third career Dakotas Tour title.

“I wanted to go for it,” Andre Metzger said. “But she just reminded me of the situation. You’re up by two, and you haven’t birdied it. She gets the credit there. That was a great call.”

Evans spent all day chasing Metzger and his birdie on No. 13 pulled him within two. Metzger appeared to have pulled away when he hit his tee shot on the par-3 15th to within three feet. But he pulled the putt, which was ensued by the following reaction: a shrug of the shoulders, a short walk away from the hole and a deep breath. He went back to the spot where he missed the putt, with Kim right behind him looking at his line.

“She keeps me calm,” he said. “Whenever I have a question or start getting rattled, she brings me back grounded. She’s my rock.”

Kim (Kolb) Metzger is a good player in her own right, and was once a high school standout in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Metzger earned $14,500 for his victory, which includes a paid entry fee to the PGA Qualifying School tournament. The 31-year-old had rounds of 70, 69, and 68 for a 207.

Evans, from Shelton, Wash., also had a solid three-day showing at 70-71-69 210. The final nine-hole duel came on a day when the temperatures and humidity were both high.

As if the mental toll of the Dakotas Tour is not enough, the weather added to the grind on Sunday. Metzger’s gray shirt, for instance, had a few different shades to it.

“It was a long day, a lot of heat,” he said.

But on No. 16, anyway, it was Metzger who had the caddie with the cool advice.

“You don’t want to force the issue because he’s the one hitting the shots,” she said. “He knows what he’s doing. Yeah, there are times I want to push it but he’s the one hitting the shot and he has to have confidence in it.”

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia