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Fiedler and Polk Win Second Straight MPGA Four-Ball

 


COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. – Entering Sunday’s final round two shots off the lead at the Minnesota Public Golf Association Four-Ball Championship, the twosome of Mike Fiedler and Jesse Polk combined for a round of 8-under 63 at River Oaks Golf Course, successfully defending their title with a two-stroke victory.

Due to the pandemic, last year’s championship was delayed until late fall where Fiedler and Polk fired back-to-back rounds of 63 to claim victory at Monticello Country Club. With their win Sunday, Fielder and Polk become the first team to repeat as champions since 2005.

“I love this format and the team competition. I grew up playing hockey, so the team stuff, to me, is so much more fun. This tournament especially, is a jump-start to the year and I enjoy the camaraderie and rooting for people,” said Polk, who carded a 71 on his own accord Sunday after suffering a hamstring injury following the opening round Saturday.

“Driving home last night I texted [Fiedler] and said, ‘You might be on your own tomorrow.’ I got here this morning and figured out how to swing without it being too painful and played better today. Mike played awesome today—he deserves a lot of the credit.”

“It was impressive what Jesse did on one leg today,” countered Fiedler. “Just watching his swing—he was all arms, but he was in every single hole, which made it a lot easier for me. I thought I was going to be playing alone for a while and then he played really well and carried me for the first three holes before we got it going.”

Fiedler and Polk began the championship with a round of 65 Saturday, finishing two shots behind the twosome of Justin Burleson and Jesse Larson. Polk started the scoring early Sunday with a birdie at the par-4 third before Fielder heated up with a flurry of birdies to help his team climb the leaderboard at 11-under through nine holes.

“I was reading putts and he was hitting them,” said Polk, who watched Fiedler sink six birdie chances over an eight-hole span. “He’d ask me what I thought, I’d tell him and it would go in. Mike was hitting really good putts.”

Fiedler rolled in a 30-footer for birdie at the par-4 10th and followed it by sinking his birdie opportunity from 10 feet at the 11th, giving his team the outright lead at 13-under.

Polk added one last birdie at the par-4 14th, nearly chipping in for eagle to put him and Fiedler up by two and they would finish with a final-round 8-under 63 to become the first team to win consecutive championships since Eric and Steve Johnson claimed victories in 2004 and 2005.

“It was so up in the air with Jesse's status, we really didn’t have any expectations coming into the round today,” Fiedler said. “Once I saw him swing on the range, I figured we had a pretty fair go at it. We got it going and made a few birdies.

“It’s easy to play with Jesse. I enjoy watching him and we have a great time. It’s a relaxing event and I don’t feel like I have to do much because we have a good chemistry. It seems like we’re always firing at the flags and it feels like one of us should birdie every hole.”

Sunday’s win is Polk's third at the event after claiming his first victory with Sammy Schmitz in 2016 at Emerald Greens Golf Course. Schmitz and Polk previously teamed up to win the 2014 Minnesota Golf Association Amateur Four-Ball in 2014 at Pebble Creek Golf Club. He paired up with Danny Anderson to win the MPGA Combination Championship last fall at Emerald Greens.

Fiedler, a former University of Minnesota golfer, claims his seventh state championship Sunday. His first came at the Minnesota PGA Junior Match Play Championship in 1999 before he won the Loren Krugel Invitational in 2005. He claimed the MGA Mixed Amateur Team Championship in 2006 and 2015 MPGA Combination Championship. In 2017 Fiedler won an MGA Amateur Four-Ball title with Johnny Larson.

A round of 67 Sunday saw first-round leaders Burleson and Larson finish tied for second at 12-under 130 with 2019 MGA Amateur Four-Ball champions Ryan Conn and Hunter Rebrovich.

Sunday’s round of 64 served as a final tune-up for the pairing of Jamie Quesnel and Max Tylke, who will travel to University Place, Wash., to compete in the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Chambers Bay beginning Saturday. Quesnel and Tylke carded a 36-hole tally of 11-under 131 to finish in a tie for fourth with the twosome of Tyler Obermueller and Sammy Schmitz.

THE 44TH MPGA FOUR-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP

RIVER OAKS GOLF COURSE

COTTAGE GROVE, MINN.

6,503 YARDS, PAR 71

SUNDAY’S FINAL RESULTS

1. Fiedler/Polk, 65-63—128

T2. Conn/Rebrovich, 64-66—130

T2. Burleson/Larson, 63-67—130

T4. Quesnel/Tylke, 67-64—131

T4. Obermueller/Schmitz, 64-67—131

6. Anderson/Sperling, 65-68—133

T7. Jarrett/Norgaard, 70-64—134

T7. Fox/Lepley, 67-67—134

T7. Anderson/Cornell, 69-65—134

10. Hasselman/Rislove, 68-67—135

 

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