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Country Club ready for New Ulm Invitational

Journal File Photo Lukas Stull, champion of the 2020 New Ulm Invitational, is shown hoisting the trophy last year. Stull is back to defend his title this year, in what could be a wide open tournament.

NEW ULM ­ — Last year, New Ulm Country Club was set to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its New Ulm Invitational Tournament with some extra events and entertainment. When COVID-19 shut everything down last year, those plans, along with the tournament itself, were pushed back.

The tournament had to be rescheduled for Labor Day weekend, with reduced participation.

This year, the Country Club will be celebrating again with a full slate of golfers and a few extras for the participants, said NUCC golf pro Tim Huffmann.

Among the special events is a weekend-long Bean Bag Tournament open to 64 players. There will also be live entertainment both Friday and Saturday night at the tournament.

The tournament itself will follow the same format, with competition on Saturday and Sunday, with a championship flight final nine-hole round starting Sunday afternoon to decide the winner.

This year Invitational is bringing back the Senior Championship flight. For the past several years, all championship level players competed in the Championship flight, with a cut after the first day of competition. Those who didn’t make the cut were placed in the President’s Flight while the rest continued in the Championship flight.

Huffman said this sort of nullified the importance of the Saturday round for those who didn’t figure to make the cut.

With this year’s numbers, it makes more sense to split the Championship flight into regular and seniors. Fourteen golfers have signed up for the Senior Champions flight, with 18 in the regular Championship flight. Huffman said this should create good, competitive golf through the whole weekend.

Huffman said there will be about 120 golfers in all in the tournament, with a chance for some late entries.

Competition in the Championship Flight could be wide open. Last year’s champion Lukas Stull is back to defend his title. Huffman said he has the ability to run away with it, but if he falters, there are a few up and comers who could make a move.

This year Stull is the only previous winner in the championship flight. A lot of the older regulars are not entered this year, like Johnny Larson of Brian Reagan. But there are a pair of golfers who have finished second in the past — Jimmy Fromm did it in 2010 and 2013. Ehan Kraus is another one, with second place finishes in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Some younger players, like Logan Haala and Ethan Kirchberg are fresh off the Cathedral High School golf team season and could make some noise.

Huffmann praised the work of the NUCC grounds crew, which has been making special efforts in the recent hot, dry weather to keep the course green and playable. The fairways are firm and could lead to some extra length off the tees, but the groundskeepers have been hand watering special spots and working to keep the greens receptive.

As always, the public is welcome to come out and watch the action, especially the final championship nine hole round.

Practice rounds will be played all day Friday, with a shootout at 6 p.m. The first round begins Saturday at 8 a.m., with the Chopper Shootout at 6 p.m.

The second round starts at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, with the championship flight final nine starting around 4 p.m.

The Field

Championship Flight

Kevin Atnip

Alex Downs

Jimmy Fromm

Marshall Funmaker

David Ganske

Aiden Guggisberg

Logan Haala

Tyler Hirth

Ethan Kirchberg

Ethan Kraus

Shane Kvidera

Brett Mathiowetz

Andrew Metzen

Josh South

Lukas Stull

Nate Weisenburger

Jason Wieland

Alex Wrocklage

Senior

Championship

Tim Andersen

Mike Doyle

Kirk Gregg

Larry Hahka

Jim Hannegan

Jim Henning

Dan Janke

Randy Kirchberg

Todd McKeeth

Randall Paa

Brian Patterson

Bradley Roigers

Dudley Whiteley

Steve Wyczawski

Regular Flights

Jackson Ahlness

Tony Anderson

Jeff Anderson

Darren Anderson

Ryan Benson

Ben Calhoun

Gunnar Cowing

Mathias Eichten

Corey Erickson

Adam Fromm

Paul Fromm

Matt Furth

Ryan Galvin

Collin Gardner

Rob Geistfeld

Tom Gregg

Pete Guggisberg

Eric Hensler

David Hirth

Joe Hoffman

Josh Holm

Matt Holm

Jake Holm

Gregg Holm

Rick Hulke

Rick Kamm

Ron Kelm

Peter Kliber

Tony Kliber

Jeff Kresh

Joe Lofgren

Casey Lux

Zach Quiring

Dan Reinhart

Paul Roberts

Anthony Sanders

Greg Schmitz

Matt Schuetzle

Joey Schugel

Bob Skillings

Ted Skillings

Craig Spelbrink

Tom Steinbach

Travis Thorson

Nate Voges

Gene Voges

Adam Watson

Jeff Wesselmann

Chris Wilkins

Jim Wirtz

Josh Wyczawski

Brandon Zenk

Seniors

Jerry Boddy

Chuck Gerber

Jim Gibbons

Bruce Gieseke

Joe Horan

Doug Kartio

Gary Kumerfield

John Kvidera

Mike Maloney

Pat McCall

Jerry Meinders

Brian Messer

Joe Nichols

Ken Paa

Jeremy Raths

Marc Redman

Ray Sagedal

Kevin Thein

Dean Warta

Paul Wessel

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