NEW ULM?- Mother Nature was the biggest obstacle at the New Ulm Country Club Saturday as golfers battled against wind, rain and debris on the course from the storms at the 54th annual New Ulm Invitational.
Lightning caused several delays and action finally resumed at about 3:45 p.m. At that point, it was decided that everyone would play nine holes rather than 18.
Johnny Larson and Dan Wenner are tied atop the leaderboard after the first day of the Championship Flight. Larson is no stranger to winning the event, having brought home the title four times. He's gunning for No. 5 on Sunday and he'll have to golf as many as 27 holes (18 in the first round, nine additional holes for the final round).
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Andy Metzen tees off on the 10th hole at the New Ulm Country Club during a delayed start of the New Ulm Invitational Saturday.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
While the conditions certainly added another challenge to the course, First Flight leader Scott Paa shrugged it off and shot a 39, tops in his flight. He won the First Flight two years ago, then moved to the Championship Flight last year. He's hoping to win his second title in three years.
He said the extra long wait didn't really bother him.
"Yes and no, I mean everybody had to wait for it," Paa said.?"It definitely made it a little tougher. There were a lot of trees and branches down."
While the branches didn't come into play for Paa, it may have been an obstacle for others.
Regardless, he'll have to play the conditions no matter what happens and he knows he can't do anything about it.
"If it's nice out, you can probably go and shoot a normal round, it's a lot easier," Paa said. "If it's raining or windy, one hole could get away from you - but everyone's playing it."
Andy Budahn leads the Second Flight (40) and Mike Ballard is atop the leaderboard on the Third Flight. Paul Fromm shot a 33 to take a three-stroke lead on the Fourth Flight and Randy Paa leads the Senior Championship Flight with a 37.
Tom Herbeck leads the Senior Flight A (35), Pete Pream leads Senior Flight B (358) and Lee Brandt leads Senior Flight C with a 35.
Action resumes at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday and the Championship Final Nine is at approximately 4 p.m.
First Day Results
Championship flight: J. Larson 35, D. Wenner 35, T. Wirtz 37, D Lensing 38, M. Mason 38, T. Franzeen 39, J. Fromm 39, T. Hirth 39, M. Fiedler 41, J. Patterson 41, D. Conley 42, D. Heisler 42, M. Smith 42, J. Wieland 43, J. South 46, P. Newmen 51.
First flight: S. Paa 39, R. Anderson 40, J. Nagel 40, D. Anderson 42, D. Bunkers 42, T. Black 43, N. Melville 43, A. Pettit 43, R. Jenkins 44, D. Keinz 45, A. Downs 47, C. Huffman 47, B. Mathiowetz 50.
Second flight: A. Budahn 40, R. Fortwengler 42, M. Kasner 42, T. Keech 42, E. Hensler 43, J. Holm 43, M. Jacobson 43, C. Erickson 45, K. Altmann 46, T. Steinbach 47, P. Guggisberg 48.
Third flight: M. Ballard 42, J. Boddy 44, T. Andersen 45, D. Black 48, A. Bode 48, B. Cherney 48, C. Langeness 49, D. Helmstetter 50, T. Furth 50, R. Galvin 51.
Fourth flight: P. Fromm 33, T. Sowder 36, P. Kliber 37, C. Spellbrink 41, B. Reitter 43, T. Kliber 43, J. Lofgren 44, M. Schuetzle 44, C. Johnson 45, B. Gieseke 49.
Senior Championship: R. Paa 37, T. Andersen 39, D. Whiteley 39, B. Patterson 40, J. Henning 46.
Senior Flight A: T. Herbeck 35, P. McCall 39, J. Nichols 42, M. Maloney 44, J. Hannegan 45, J. Horan 45.
Senior Flight B: P. Pream 35, J. Gibbons 36, N. Krebsbach 39, J. Schmidt 41, R. Sagedal 41, G. Kumerfield 43, C. Gerber 46.
Senior Flight C: L. Brandt 35, D. Olson 36, M. Mondry 36, C. McCann 37, R. Schnobrich 37, K. Rogers 38, C. Paa 41, P. Eichten 43, K. Mondry 45.