Gallery: Green Lea Golf Course hosts Shortstop Tournament

Published 6:59 pm Monday, September 1, 2014

Brent Miller tees off on Hole No. 11 Monday at the Shortstop Tournament at Green Lea Golf Course. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Brent Miller tees off on Hole No. 11 Monday at the Shortstop Tournament at Green Lea Golf Course. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

When the field of 128 was whittled down to two, Brent Miller and Andy Petersen squared off in a rematch of the 2009 finals Monday during the 87th annual Shortstop Tournament at Green Lea Golf Course.

Miller took the title in 2009 and repeated Monday with the help of a 60-foot bomb on hole No. 16.

“It broke at six feet and went in the hole,” said Miller. “(The chances were) one out of 1,000.”

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Although Miller lives and works in Sioux Falls, S.D., he has an Albert Lea connection. Hole No. 1 at Green Lea Golf Course was visible from the back window of his father’s house.

“I’ve played this course my whole life, and it’s great for match play,” he said. “I love this tournament. I look forward to it all year.”

Match play is a scoring system where a player can earn one point for scoring better than his or her opponent on a particular hole. It is opposed to stroke play, where the spread can be further than one point on a given hole.

Miller’s caddie was Chris Baas, the winner of the championship consolation flight and a household name at the tournament. Not only was Baas the defending champion the last two years, he also claimed the title in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2008. Miller and Baas are good friends and stood for each other’s weddings, Miller said.

Along with catching up with friends, Miller said a special part of the tournament is the atmosphere.

“Everybody stays around until the end to follow the last match,” he said. “They clap for a good shot, and Green Lea running it is top notch.”

Petersen, a resident of Albert Lea, finished as the runner-up for the fourth time at the three-day tournament.

“He’s a very good player,” Miller said. “His time is overdue (for a win).”

Golfers are allowed to register when they turn 21, and Petersen said he’s played all 16 years that he’s been eligible.

“It’s always fun,” said Petersen. “There’s a lot of people here, and you get your buddies coming in from out of town.”

Petersen’s brother, Steve Pedersen, was his caddie.

“It’s nice to have him out there,” said Petersen. “He was in the semifinals last year, and he’s a good player.”

After the Albert Lea Country Club was shut down in 2006, Green Lea Golf Course took over hosting the Shortstop Tournament, which is the second-longest running match-play tournament in Minnesota, according to course owner Jeff Elseth.

Other winners are listed in the Scoreboard: Sept. 1 post.