Francis captures Wynston Boe Memorial Golf championship
The biggest battle didn’t come on the course at the Wynston Boe Memorial Golf Tournament on Sunday.
Bryan Francis coasted to an easy win, stroking a 116 for 27 holes.
But the big battle came before the tournament when two inches of rain was poured on the course Wednesday night-Thursday morning.
“The problem was we couldn’t mow because it was so wet,” said groundskeeper Brandon Hennen.
“But it dried pretty quickly,” Hennen added.
The mower began to whiz and whirl and a crew began to work on the water problem. “We finally got it into shape and it’s pretty good,” Hennen added.
But the grounds crew had to work nearly around the clock to get the course in playing shape.
Some felt the greens were “slower” than usual, but champion Bryan Francis said the course played well.
“I love playing on these greens. They always get it rolling fast and true,” said Francis.
Ben Derynck, a Minneota graduate who teaches in Worthington, took second, six strokes back at 122. He had a nice 39 on the first nine but fell off to 44 on the second nine and was six strokes behind going into the finals.
Derynck stroked a 39 again on the found round — but couldn’t make up the six strokes Francis had on him after the first 18 holes.
Francis, who, “Lived here for 15 years in Marshall, went to college at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall and worked for Schwan’s before moving to the Twin Cities.” He lives in Lakeville at this time.
“I’ve got so many friends here and its always worth coming. This is my busy golf season,” Francis said.
Wynston Boe was the Countryside Golf Pro for many years. Also familiar in baseball circles, he passed away a couple of years ago and the tournament has become a collection of his friends and colleagues.
As for Francis, “I’ve got so many friends around here I know just about everybody here and this tournament has always been great,” he said.
This was his third year in the tournament and Sunday he finally turned the corner with the championship trophy.
“Last year, I didn’t play real well, but this year I changed that around,” he said.
The nice six-stroke cushion he had going into the finals played well for him as he coasted through the final nine.
“Absolutely, that made a difference. The last two three holes I just played it safe all the way. I knew I had a lead so I just had to put it in the hole.”
And he did just that. He played with Corey Skogrand and Zeb Prairie (a former champion from Cottonwood).
Skogrand gave it a good try, but he had a couple of tough holes and finished with a 43 on the final nine for a 124 and third place.
“There was a little bit of going back and fourth (on the final nine), said Francis.
In the end, he sighed and said, “I’ve played (in this tournament) for three years and first time I won it.”
He added, “My tournament seasons starts with this tournament and I have eight or nine tournaments in August.”
So this was a warm-up for the rest of his golfing season.
Francis shot a scorching 77 on the first 18 with a 40 and a 37 to take a four-stroke lead over nearest challenger Cory Skogrand with an 81.
In the President’s Flight, Norm DePestel had a great tournament and edged a good field of competitors.
He beat Duane Kockelman by one stroke with Walker Hennen and Mike Von Bokern just two strokes back.
Flight winners were: Joe Kack with another great tournament at 118; Roger Evert and Dale Verschelde.
The senior flight ended in a tie with Ron Labat and Jim Lanners each earning the honors at 118.
While the tournament’s total participation was down to 52 golfers this year, the event still drew a good following as the final round drew to a close.
While the main event was taking place on the course, Mother Nature’s rays were continuing to dry the course.
But, it was the grounds crew that gets most of the praise, for getting the course ready despite the untimely mess created in a summer filled with more water than anyone desires.
“There were lakes of water standing after that downpour,” said one member of the grounds crew. But we’re pretty happy with how it turned out.”
CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT: 1. Bryan Francis 116; 2. Ben Derynck 122; 3. Corey Skogrand 124; 4. Charlie Seitzer 126; 5. Dave Kockelman and Zeb Prairie 128 each; 6. Wayne Kompelien and Brad Cool 131.
Presidents Flight: 1. Norm DePestel 117; 2. Duane Kockelman 118; 3. W. Hennen and M. Von Bokern, 119 each.
First Flight: 1. Joe Kack 118; 2. R. Sorensen 121; 3. S. Holland; B. Van Keulen, J. Hook (three-way tie at 123.
Second Flight: 1. Roger Evert; 2. Mike Gilbertson; Consolation: Steve Baune.
Third Flight: 1. Dale Verschelde; 2. Chuck Larson; Consolation: Aaron Gravely.
Senior Flight: 1. (tie), Ron Labat and Jim Lanners, 84 each. 3. Butch Obe 86; 4. Bill Vlaminck 99; 5. Gary Nuytten 104.