A long drive to play golf
f they gave a prize for "Longest Drive" in the Wynston Boe Golf Tournament, Wayne Kompelien should have been the winner. But not necessarily for hitting a golf ball further than anyone else in the field.
The 1977 Minneota graduate actually drove 1,300 miles for 24 hours from his home in Lynchburg, Virginia to play in the tournament. He has lived in Virginia since 1986.
"My wife (Rhonda) is from Boyden, Iowa, which is two hours south of Minneota," Kompelien said. "So we plan our vacation to visit our families each summer at the same time as the golf tournament."
Kompelien has played in 37 of the last 39 tournaments; missing only because of mononucleosis one year and last year after his mother, who lives with him and his wife Rhonda, fell and broke her leg.
He has won this tournament three times; 1990, '92 and '97.
When he won in 1997, he scorched the course with a record score of 100 after rounds of 34-32-34. That record still stands.
"Time sure flies," said Kompelien, 61. "It's getting harder and harder to play well as the years go by."Kompelien shot rounds of 45-46-44 for a total of 135 in the championship flight on Sunday.
"I didn't play very well at all," he said. "But it's a lot of fun to come back and play."
Kompelien showed flashes of his ability to play well. As he was finishing up his second round, a tall poplar tree stood in the way for his second shot. Seeing a small window between the branches, he chose to try and squeeze his shot through it.
"I thought I had a chance to make it," he said after knocking the shot on the green.
Kompelien was a state qualifier as a Minneota high school senior and placed 22nd. He also played baseball and basketball for the Vikings.
Saying he has always had a passion for music, Kompelien is currently a professor of music at Liberty University where he has taught since 1986.
Dr. Kompelien is an award-winning artist, as well as director and conductor. After receiving a degree in Music Education from Oral Roberts University, he went on to finish a Master's and Doctorate in Vocal Performance from Kansas University.
While at Kansas University, Dr. Kompelien became an accomplished opera singer. He twice placed in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions in Kansas City. His portrayal of Olin Blitch in Carlyle Floyd’s Susannah reached national recognition as the production placed second in a national competition. He has been regularly featured in opera and oratorio productions.
Dr. Kompelien is the founder of the opera program at Liberty University and has directed stage productions every year since 1987.
And now getting a chance to play in the Wynston Boe tournament each year is music to his ears.