Mead competed in the championship flight of the tournament — which gave golfers the opportunity to play 27 holes of regulation.
Each golfer in the championship flight golfed 18 holes, but then the top 18 golfers would continue to play nine more holes before deciding a champion.
In this instance, it took even more than that. But in the first playoff hole Mead knocked his second shot on the par-5 No. 1 to within 10 feet of the pin to eventually go on to defeat Jesse Larson for the title.
Larson — who entered the tournament coming off a win at the Galen Skramstad Tournament last weekend at MGC— hit his second shot in the playoff hole into the green-side bunker and failed to get up-and-down for birdie.
“It was fun,” said Mead. “I hit some good shots and was fortunate enough to come out with a victory.”
Mead started hot with three birdies on his first three holes to eventually post a 2-under 34 on the front side.
The back held Mead to a 1-over 37 for an 18-hole total of 71 — one back of 18-hole leader Chad Michelson.
Larson — a three-time MGC/Schwan Invitational champion — opened the tournament 1-over through four holes after shooting three straight pars and a bogey. He quickly responded with a birdie on the par-4 fifth to get back to even. He went on to shoot an even-par 36 on the front.
Larson started the back nine slow with a double bogey on the par-3 10th hole after he hit his tee shot into the bunker and struggled to get the ball close to a difficult pin placement — a re-occurring theme throughout the course.
“They were challenging,” Larson said. “The first 18 holes the pins were very tough.”
Larson quickly got a stroke back with a birdie on the difficult par-4 11th hole to eventually shoot another 36 on the back for a 72 after 18 holes.
Trailing by two strokes,, Larson shot a 1-under 35 on the final nine holes to hold the lead with a 1-under total (107).
“I’m happy with the way I played the last nine holes,” said Larson. “My putter was hot and it kind of kept me in it today.”
The lead held up until the final group entered the club house.
Eighteen-hole leader Michelson shot 2-over in the final nine holes for a 38 to finish the tournament even-par (108), but Mead shot a 36 to push Larson into a sudden death playoff hole.
Larson and Mead extended their match to the par-5 first hole where Mead hit two clutch shots to close the door on Larson.
“I’ve never played here before, but I really enjoyed it,” Mead said. “The golf course was in great shape and the people are all really nice around here.”
Mead claimed the championship flight, but the tournament accommodated for golfers of all skill levels with six additional flights to put golfers, with relative skill levels, in competition with each other. Each golfer was placed within a flight according to their course handicap. All flights outside of the championship flight played only 18 holes of competition.
Rick Mattson won the first flight, which consisted of the top 11 golfers in accordance to course handicap, with an 80. Jeremiah Dahl shot the low round of anybody outside of the championship flight. He was placed in the third flight and took the championship after shooting a 78.
“I felt like I did pretty well,” Dahl said. “The pins were tight, but it’s always a fun course to come to.”
The first Flight champion, Mattson, not only claimed the title in the toughest flight of the tournament, but defeated his long-time friend Dave Musser in their annual nickel/dime side game.
“He and I have played a nickel a hole or dime a hole for almost 35 years,” Mattson said. “I would say we were about even, but I got the best of him (Monday). I won 30 cents from him — that was better than winning the tournament.”
Steve Huettl took first place in the second flight with a 79, Dahl was the third flight champion and Tom Gruhot won the fourth flight with an 84.
Garrit Jepma won the fifth flight with an 87 while Roderick Benjamin shot the low round in the sixth flight with a 95.
Earlier in the weekend Tom Homan, Tony Krogen and Michelson teamed up to win the McGladrey Team Championship Saturday with a team score of 61 to qualify for the sectional tournament at Troy Burne Golf Course in Hudson, Wis.
* 1. Geoff Mead—107
1. Jesse Larson—107
3. Chad Michelson—108
t4. Tom Carlson—109
t4. Jon Musser—109
t6. Tom Homan—110
t6. Tony Krogen—110
8. Adam Wudel—113
9. Troy Deutz—115
10. Charlie Kost—116
t11. Keith Larson—120
t11. Ryan Trasamas—120
Other Individual Scores
1. Rick Mattson —80
t2. Tim Kulow —81
t2. Bruce Mytling—81
4. David Musser—82
5. Scott Hiller—83
t6. Dwayne Riley—84
t6. Darrel Wiener—84
1. Steve Huettl—79
2. Larry Goodroad—86
t3. John Bot—88
t3. Jeff Slagter—88
t3. Steve Zondervan—88
6. Larry Nelson—89
1. Jeremiah Dahl—78
t2. Greg Mulder—82
t2. Mike Brenner—82
4. Ron Labat—84
5. Jerry Dahl—86
6. David Anderson—87
1. Tom Gruhot—84
2. Swede Berens—88
3. Bill Larson— 90
t4. Bill Parriott—92
t4. Mike Lownsbury—92
t4. Paul Tatge—92
1. Garrit Jepma—87
t2. Jon Hilleren—89
t2. Gerry Busiahn—89
4. Jack Dahl—89
5. Roger Lesterburg—91
6. Allan Rice—92
1. Roderick Benjamin—95 (73.2)
2. Ron Lesteberg—96 (74.7)
3. Dick Pittenger—108 (75.9)
4. Willard Engel—102 (78.5)
5. Mike Kabris—102 (81.1)
6. Bob Zeilsdorf—113 (88.8)
Roger Tjosaas—116 (93.1)
Photo by David Griswold
Geoff Mead hits his drive on the first playoff hole during the Marshall Golf Club/Schwan's Men's Invitational Monday at MGC. Mead defeated Jesse Larson in the first playoff hole to win the championship flight.