Reeder, Stults first-time winners on men’s side
It only seemed fitting that Ryan Reeder and Randy Stults stood in the same championship trophy photo after all was said and done Sunday at the Fort Dodge Ford Lincoln Toyota County Golf Tournament, presented by The Messenger.
The long-time friends had played hundreds of rounds together through the years. They were regularly in the same foursome for this event, and they’d both been close to winning titles before.
As luck and timing would have it, Reeder and Stults had their breakthrough performances almost simultaneously this weekend in the men’s open and senior divisions, respectively. Reeder held off fellow St. Edmond graduate Robert Flattery for a one-stroke triumph, while Stults closed a comfortable eight shots clear of Steve Schmidt at the top.
”You just never know in this game,” said Reeder, who carded rounds of 70, 70 and 34 to finish at five-under par 174. ”We’re all just amateurs out here. You go through these situations and try your best to prepare yourself, but man, this last day (18 holes and the championship nine) can really be a grind, both (physically and mentally).
”You have to play your best and hope it’s enough. Any of (the other contenders) could have easily won it. You have to catch some breaks and do whatever you can control, because in golf, one day or one swing doesn’t necessarily mean anything (the next time around).”
After a clutch chip from just off the green, Reeder rattled in a knee-buckling three-foot putt for birdie on the par-4 18th to seal the deal — jokingly adding, ”right in the heart (of the cup)!” Flattery (72-69-34–175) had an eagle putt that would have forced a playoff skirt just by the hole moments earlier, putting the pressure on Reeder to end it.
And he did.
Former city champ Austin Morrow (72-73-34–179) was third, and Cory Cummins (78-71-34–183) placed fourth.
Reeder, who graduated from SEHS in 1993, has been competing in this tourney since the mid-1990s. He’s held the overnight lead before and been in contention on a number of other occasions, placing third last summer.
”About midway through the round (Sunday), I really started feeling good and I thought to myself, ‘here we go,”’ Reeder said. ”It was just one of those days where I made up for my three-putts and bad holes without getting (off track). I had a triple (bogey) but got it all back.
”With that being said, Robert was right there until the very end. Every guy in that final group (Flattery, Morrow and three-time men’s open division winner Lucas Peed) could have won it — and that’s not even including the other (contenders). It’s a great feeling and I’m fortunate to (come out on top).”
Stults was never seriously threatened, as he extended the four-stroke lead he’d held going into the championship stretch on Lakeside’s back side. His three-under par total (70-71-35–176) tied for the lowest in the 21-year history of the senior competition.
”I did play really well and I putted great,” said Stults, who has been an annual participant in this event since 1999. ”It helped a lot (during the championship round) to be out there with Jon Diehl, who I had played with (on Saturday and earlier Sunday).
”Still, the nerves and the butterflies were there. I was just trying to have fun and hope that my (final) score was enough.”
Schmidt shot 71-80-33–184. Ron Cummins (82-67-36–185) was third, followed by three-time defending titlist Terry Miller (75-74-37–186) and Steve Huss (73-81-33–187).
Stults thanked superintendents Mark Siems (FDCC) and Chad Graaf (Lakeside), who ”always have both courses in outstanding condition.”
”It’s such a great tournament to play in. That’s why I keep coming back,” Stults said. ”It’s kind of both pride and relief to finally get one after all these years.”
Eddie Doyle (292 yards) clipped Chad Michael (291) by a single yard in the Hanson Golf long-drive challenge. Joe Abrams was the Hanson Golf putting contest winner.
The Humes Distributing “Closest to the Pin” Challenge saw eight players crowned: Dean Stuhrenberg (FDCC, No. 2); Mike Osterberg (FDCC, No. 8); Jarod Gross (FDCC, No. 11); Lucas Peed (FDCC, No. 13); Craig Nekvinda (Lakeside, No. 2); Justin Faiferlick (Lakeside, No. 9); Tanner Ruge (Lakeside, No. 14); and Don Sawyer (Lakeside, No. 17).
WEBSTER COUNTY GOLF TOURNAMENT
Men’s Open Division
1. Ryan Reeder 70-70-34–174; 2. Robert Flattery 72-69-34–175; 3. Austin Morrow, 72-73-34–179; 4. Cory Cummins 78-71-34–183; 5. Devin Gallentine 73-75-36–184; 6. Lucas Peed 72-70-44–186; 7. Ted Hanson 77-72-37–186; 8. Charlie Doyle 76-72-39–187; 9. Brandon Kinseth 71-75-42–188; 10. Cody Jaeschke 75-76-40–191; (tie) Mike Fraher 76-77-38–191.
Men’s Senior Division
1. Randy Stults 70-71-35–176; 2. Steve Schmidt 71-80-33–184; 3. Ron Cummins 82-67-36–185; 4. Terry Miller 75-74-37–186; 5. Steve Huss 73-81-33–187; (tie) Jon Diehl 70-75-43–188; (tie) Dave Osterberg 71-74-43–188; 8. Joe Abrams 77-77-35–189.
Men’s Open Flight Winners
First Flight — 1. Justin Jorgensen 76-81–157; 2. Tony Lawler 81-76–157; 3. Michael Faiferlick 78-80–158; 4. Brandon Balm 79-80–159.
Second Flight – 1. Tim Lundberg 83-83–166; 2. Aaron Brown 87-80–167; 3. George Valdez 82-85–167; 4. Bob Rustvold 88-79–167.
Third Flight — 1. Joe Bush 96-82–178; 2. J.J. Lane 86-95–181; 3. Tanner Utley 92-89–181; 4. Dan Shepard 95-87–182.
Men’s Senior Flight Winners
First Flight — 1. Earl Radke 75-82–157; 2. Lance Utley 84-73–157; 3. Keith Messerly 81-77–158; 4. Don Sawyer 85-75–160.
Second Flight — 1. Dean Stuhrenberg 87-86–173; 2. Craig Nekvinda 88-86–174; 3. Dave Morrow 88-86–174; 4. John Albrecht 91-86–177.