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Seventh stein sweeter

Larson wins his 7th New Ulm Invitational title in return

Staff photo by Travis Rosenau Springfield’s Johnny Larson, center, poses for a photo with the New Ulm Invitational trophy after winning it for the seventh time in his career at the 64th annual New Ulm Invitational at the New Ulm Country Club on Sunday. Also pictured with Larson from left to right is his son, Crew, his wife, Missy, and his daughter, Ihler.

NEW ULM — A lot has changed for Johnny Larson since winning his first New Ulm Invitational in 2007.

The Springfield native was coming off his junior year of college golf at Iowa State that year and couldn’t have predicted exactly what was to come 17 years later.

Securing five more Championship Flight steins after 2007 and heading into this year’s tournament looking for No. 7, Larson won his seventh on Sunday at the New Ulm Country Club, which was even sweeter as his wife and children were there to see it.

Larson stepped away from the Invitational after winning his sixth Championship Flight stein in 2016, but he had time away from his busy schedule this year to return to the tournament. Larson, who also won the tournament in 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2014, was happy to have extra support this time around, with his wife, Missy, and his children, Ihler and Crew, in attendance.

“There’s nothing better than having the family with,” Larson said. “The kids were riding with the whole day, which was fun. Totally different atmosphere and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Larson, who trailed New Ulm’s Ethan Kraus by two strokes after the second 18 holes were complete Sunday, shot a 37 in the final championship nine to finish with a 45-hole score of 189, two strokes ahead of the second-place Kraus. Scott Paa, who led the Championship Fight after the first round Saturday, finished the tournament Sunday tied for third with Scott Stueber with a 195. Aiden Guggisberg shot a 45-hole score of 197 to take fifth.

While Kraus had a solid 74 in the second 18 holes Sunday to take a two-stroke lead, Larson finished his second 18 with an eagle to keep things manageable. Larson’s 37 on the final nine, which included birdies on the 12th and 18th holes, was four strokes better than Kraus.

“I made the eagle on 18 on the second round before we played the final nine that kind of helped to get ready for the final nine to get me into a spot where it wasn’t too far out of reach,” Larson said. “And I hit some really good shots in the wind the last nine, made a few putts, kind of kept myself in the mix … it was fun to get some shots when we needed to down the stretch and made a few birdies coming in, which was nice.”

Larson said the course was in great condition for the tournament, but he also wasn’t exactly sure what to expect having not played on the course all year until this past week.

“Honestly, my first full 18-hole round was on Friday in the practice round, for the year, so I have not played really any golf all year,” Larson said. “Had about a week to get ready once I committed, calling Tim [Huffman] last Monday. Hit some balls throughout the week, tried to find the game a little bit and throughout the weekend it got better and better.”

Larson already had the record of six Championship Fight wins coming into the 64th annual edition of the tourney this year, but he was happy to break his own record with his seventh on Sunday.

Paul Andersen, Shane Kvidera and Andrew Metzen each finished with a 199 total to tie for sixth in the Championship Flight, while Jason Wieland carded a 200 for ninth and Ethan Kirchberg shot a 202 for 10th. Fifteen-year-old New Ulm High School golfer Mason Buegler shot a 208 total to take 11th.

In the Regular Divison First Flight, Peter Guggisberg took the stein with a 36-hole score of 169. The Second Flight was won by Brodie Raymond, who shot a 161, while Tony Mielke carded a 167 to take the Third Flight.

Kevin Bassett and Josh Sabatino tied for first in the Regular Division Fourth Net Flight with a 145 to force a playoff round on Hole 10, which Bassett won to take home the stein.

In the Senior Division First Flight, Jeremy Raths won with a 36-hole score of 147, which the Senior Division Second Flight was won by Jim Gibbons, who shot a 152. Matt Pearson won the Senior Championship Division with a 153.

FINAL RESULTS

(Day 1-Day 2 Total *Championship Flight includes extra nine holes at the end)

*Championship Flight: Johnny Larson 76-76-37 189, Ethan Kraus 76-74-41 191, Scott Paa 74-79-42 195, Scott Stueber 78-75-42 195, Aiden Guggisberg 78-78-41 197, Paul Andersen 81-80-38 199, Shane Kvidera 79-77-43 199, Andrew Metzen 75-78-46 199, Jason Wieland 79-76-45 200, Ethan Kirchberg 79-82-41 202, Mason Buegler 84-80-44 208. (Players who didn’t make the cut) Ryan Okeefe 91-DNF, Colin Huffman 78-82, Keith Dahle 88-80, Nate Weisenburger 89-79.

First Flight: Peter Guggisberg 79-90 169, Nate Voges 78-93 171, Nathan Lassas 80-92 172, Jack Reagan 85-88 173, Ben Lockin 88-87 175, Quinn O’Connor 83-92 175, Ned Reagan 82-93 175, Andis Kancans 91-85 176, Steve Eckstein 84-92 176, Joey Schugel 86-90 176, Ryan Goette 89-90 179, Micheal Johnson 91-89 180, Kurt Bain 87-93 180, AJ Lassas 90-91 181, Anthony Sanders 90-91 181, Patrick Reagan 88-93 181, Mathias Eichten 87-95 182, Billy O’Connell 94-102 196, Patrick Bock 90-DNF, Logan Starzinski 92-DNF.

Second Flight: Brodie Raymond 78-83 161, Phil Fischer 82-84 166, Connor Murphy 85-82 167, Jackson Ahlness 85-82 167, Zach Quiring 85-85 170, Charlie Steward 86-84 170, Randy Kirchberg 84-88 172, Craig Larson 85-87 172, Eric Hensler 84-88 172, Todd Liebrenz 87-86 173, Dan Reinhart 83-90 173, Rick Webber 89-88 177, Keith Pryor 89-90 179, Greg Schmitz 90-90 180, Tony Kliber 93-88 181, Ed Hayes 87-94 181, Gunnar Cowing 89-94 183, Adam Loose 100-96 196.

Third Flight: Tony Mielke 80-87 167, Ryan Galvin 81-88 169, Patrick Bakken 90-85 175, Jordan Schneider 92-85 177, Corey Erickson 84-94 178, Tom Steinbach 85-94 179, Josh Holdahl 94-90 184, Erich Korth 93-91 184, Tim Berg 97-90 187, Terry Rich 98-91 189, Tony Sowder 97-94 191, Collin Gardner 96-96 192, Peter Kliber 93-99 192, Ted Skillings 98-95 193, Josh Holm 94-101 195, Bob Skillings 96-100 196, Shane Traulich 94-107 201.

Fourth Net Flight: Kevin Bassett 67-78 145, Josh Sabatino 68-77 145, Paul Buboltz 73-76 149, Tom Portner 75-74 149, Jerry Henning 67-83 150, Rick Kamm 76-77 153, Matt Schuetzle 72-82 154, John Eichten 76-79 155, Matt Furth 76-83 159, Rick Hulke 78-81 159, Gregg Holm 81-80 161, Wyatt Peterson 77-84 161, Joe Lofgren 87-77 164, Ron Kelm 84-80 164, Jason Steele 82-83 165, Jon Hunstad 80-85 165, Taylor Bode 84-83 167, Matt Weight 86-92 178.

Senior First Flight: Jeremy Raths 74-73 147, Jerry Boddy 77-77 154, Pat McCall 75-81 156, John Kvidera 78-81 159, Doug Dittbenner 82-80 162, Brian Messer 83-79 162, Joe Nichols 84-83 167, Joe Horan 93-87 180.

Senior Second Flight: Jim Gibbons 74-78 152, Don Olson 72-82 155, Gene Voges 77-78 155, Dave Hirth 82-75 157, Gary Kumberfield 80-83 163, Ray Sagedal 92-78 170, Bruce Gieseke 85-87 172, Peter Eichten 78-DNF.

Senior Championship Flight: Matt Pearson 73-80 153, Brian Reagan 74-82 156, Darren Anderson 79-78 157, Ted Wirtz 80-81 161, Dean Wilson 83-78 161, Randall Paa 82-82 164, Todd McKeeth 81-84 165, Tim Andersen 80-85 165, Jeff Ferrell 90-76 166, Jeff Anderson 87-82 169, Ron Atkinson 91-79 170, Joe Nordahl 86-88 174, Jim Henning 84-94 178, Tony Andersen 91-89 180, Dave Keinz 95-85 180, Larry Hahka 86-99 185.

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