Gallery: Former Tigers team up

Published 6:12 pm Monday, September 2, 2013

Green Lea Golf Course owner, Jeff Elseth, right, presents the award for winning the Shortstop Tournament to Chris Baas Monday. Baas won the tournament for the seventh time since 1999. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Green Lea Golf Course owner, Jeff Elseth, right, presents the award for winning the Shortstop Tournament to Chris Baas Monday. Baas won the tournament for the seventh time since 1999. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Former Albert Lea High School teammates joined forces to win the Shortstop Tournament Monday at Green Lea Golf Course.

Chris Baas, this year’s champion, was assisted by caddie Phil Schmidt.

“I’ve played a lot of golf with Phil over the years,” Baas said. “It helps to have a guy who understands my game. It gave me a little more confidence.”

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Winning the tournament this year gave Baas back-to-back titles. He followed back-to-back titles by Schmidt in 2010 and 2011. Since 1999, Baas won the Shortstop Tournament seven times, including four of five years from 1999 to 2003. Baas and Schmidt have combined to win 10 of the last 15 titles at the Shortstop Tournament.

Although Baas and Schmidt teamed up on Monday, they also enjoy playing against each other. Less than a month ago, the pair swung against each other at the Albert Lea City Tournament — a two-day event with 18 holes at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club and 18 holes at Green Lea Golf Course — and Schmidt won for the fifth time since 2005.

“We’ve always competed hard against each other,” Baas said. “He graduated (from ALHS) in ’93, and I graduated in ’95, so we’ve always been battling.”

After the tournament, Baas said he will take a break from golfing. He wants to spend time with his wife, Jernelle, and their 11-month-old son, Grant.

“She’s very nice when it comes to letting me practice,” Baas said. “I promised that I’d have fun this weekend and I’d be done golfing after this tournament.”

Earning runner-up honors in the championship flight was Alex Lair. Lair was a 2006 graduate of ALHS, and Baas and Schmidt were his golfing mentors in high school.

“Some of my fondest memories back when I played for the Tigers were when Chris and Phil would play practice rounds with me before section and Big Nine (Conference) tournaments,” Lair said. “I’ve been looking up to those guys for a long time. It’s fun to be on their level and play some good golf against them.”

Lair’s caddie was his father, Loren.

“I really have to thank my dad and the rest of my family and friends for supporting me,” Lair said.

While pursuing his undergraduate degree at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Lair exchanged his golf club for a hockey stick. He played three years for the Gusties hockey team. Now, Lair is in a master’s program at Augsburg College in Rochester, and his focus has shifted from the ice to the fairway, he said.

The Shortstop Golf Tournament is run in a match-play format, where each player fights off elimination in each round. The host site allowed the first 128 event applicants to compete.

The championship flight was one of eight flights at the tournament. Justin Nelson won the presidential flight. Vance Mickelson won the first flight. Grant Erlandson won the second, Scott Rasmussen won the third, Larry Runden won the fourth, Josh Tubbs won the fifth and Dan Wittmer won the sixth flight.

“I really want to thank everyone for coming out to the tournament to watch,” Baas said. “It’s really neat for us to have 500-plus people come out and watch.”

Individual winners are listed below the gallery.

Championship flight
1. Chris Baas
2. Alex Lair
Consolation champ: Brian Knudsen

Presidential flight
1. Justin Nelson
2. Brent Miller
Consolation champ: Jeff Hoium

First flight
1. Vance Mickelson
2. Jeff Starr
Consolation champ: Ben Jones

Second flight
1. Grant Erlandson
2. Chad Radue

Third flight
1. Scott Rasmussen
2. Chuck Fennell
Consolation champ: Brian Demmer

Fourth flight
1. Larry Runden
2. Robert Ankoviak
Consolation champ: Joe Gullekson

Fifth flight
1. Josh Tubbs
2. John Murray
Consolation champ: Matt Bergstrom

Sixth flight
1. Dan Wittmer
2. Charlie Majerus
Consolation champ: Michael Greibrok

Past Shortstop Tournament Champions

2013: Chris Baas
2012: Chris Baas
2011: Phil Schmidt
2010: Phil Schmidt
2009: Brent Miller
2008: Chris Baas
2007: Andy Jacobson
2006: Phil Schmidt
2005: Mike Nelson
2004: Mick Hockinson
2003: Chris Baas
2002: Chris Baas
2001: Chris Baas
2000: Nate Rassmusson
1999: Chris Baas
1998: Jeff Stadheim
1997: Mick Hockinson
1996: Tim Duren
1995: Rick Jeddeloh
1994: J.B. Lloyd
1993: J.B. Lloyd
1992: Joe Klick
1991: Jeff Elseth
1990: Mick Hockinson
1989: Dave Pilot
1988: John Christian
1987: Rick Omdahl
1986: Gene Peterson
1985: Gene Peterson
1984: Rick Jeddeloh
1983: Kelly Peterson
1982: Scott Hogan
1981: John Shimpack
1980: John Shimpack
1979: John Eymann
1978: Dave Everds
1977: Ken Ulman
1976: Rick Graen
1975: Mike Fermoyle
1974: Jim Ihnot
1973: Jim Ihnot
1972: John Eymann
1971: Dick Davies
1970: Dick Davies
1969: Buck Heegard
1968: Dick Davies
1967: Ells Bennett
1966: Ells Bennett
1965: John Eymann
1964: Al Lerum
1963: Jarvis Knutson
1962: Dick Davies
1961: Dick Chapman
1960: Wayne Breck
1959: Al Lerum
1958: John Eymann
1957: John Eymann
1956: Dick Davies
1955: Clayton Westrum
1954: Ells Bennett
1953: Bob Carlson
1952: Ted Hall
1951: Ole Williamson
1950: Bob Carlson