Baas makes it 3 in a row

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 2, 2003

Chris Baas wasn’t quite ready to abandon his game plan.

But he was dangerously close.

Trailing by three after six holes in the championship round of the Shortstop Golf Tournament, Baas began a slow and deliberate comeback that ended with a 1-up victory over Mick Hockinson on the 18th green at Albert Lea Golf Club Monday.

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Baas, 27, became the first player in the match-play tournament’s 76-year history to win it three times in a row. Nearly 100 carts and hundreds of spectators followed the championship round.

Hockinson, a two-time Shortstop champion, used a red-hot putter to gain a 3-up advantage after six holes.

&uot;I knew there was still a lot of golf left, but I was borderline starting to press,&uot; said Baas, who admitted the early deficit caused him some concern. &uot;It was way to early to press. I stayed with my game plan.&uot;

That plan, &uot;To play smart, make a lot of pars and not do anything stupid,&uot; paid off in the end, when Baas scored par in the final two holes while Hockinson had bogeys on both.

&uot;I have a lot of respect for Mick,&uot; said Baas. &uot;It’s a lot of fun playing with him. He’s a pretty classy individual.&uot;

Baas said it feels good to be the first golfer to win three consecutive Shortstop titles. It was his fourth overall.

&uot;When I’m 50, 60 years old, I’ll see my name up there,&uot; he said. &uot;It’s neat.&uot;

Hockinson, 44, admitted feeling some tension on the final two holes.

&uot;My heart was pumping real hard,&uot; he said. &uot;I think anyone who tells you they’re not nervous has either never been in that situation or they’re not telling the truth. You hate to lose a match when you bogey the last two holes, but Chris played solid enough to take advantage of my misses. He’s as good as Albert Lea’s got, and it’s great that he’s here.&uot;

Hockinson said he enjoyed the entire weekend tournament, but the highlight for him was having his son, 13-year-old Matt, serve as his caddy.

It was the first Shortstop for ALGC pro Andy Newman, and he was impressed.

&uot;It’s an awesome tournament and we had a great turnout,&uot; said Newman. &uot;I think we covered over 20 states. It shows what kind of tournament this is and what kind of town this is and could be.&uot;

The top finishers, by flight:

-Championship &045; 1. Chris Baas; 2. Mick Hockinson; consolation, Jon Montei;

-Presidential flight &045; 1. Bob Lerum; 2. Wayne Thompson; cons., Brenden Danielsen;

-Executive flight &045; 1. Nate Rasmusson; 2. Tony Richie; cons., Steve Lee;

-First flight &045; 1. Ron Hansen; 2. Terry Peterson; cons., Gene Peterson;

-Second flight &045; 1. Chad Radue; 2. Doug Petersen; cons., Greg Wackowiak;

-Third flight &045; 1. C. Petersen; 2. D. Johnson; cons, Steve Foss;

-Fourth flight &045; 1. Eric Lorentzson; 2. Mark Habben; cons., Mike Juston;

-Fifth flight &045; 1. Brad Adams; 2. Scott Petersen; cons., Chris Johnson;

-Sixth flight &045; 1. Dave Fligge; 2. Bob Dickerman; cons., Jerry Vogt;

-Seventh flight &045; 1. Tom Keating; 2. Dick Polley; cons., Greg Foss;

-Eighth flight &045; 1. Steve Anderson; 2. Chris Diggins; cons., Joel Schwartz.

(Contact Sports Editor Jim Lutgens: or 379-3437)