Cold temperatures and rain fell over CreeksBend Golf Course in the overnight hours prior to the start of the 2019 Prior Lake Hardball Golf Invitational held on Saturday, May 18. Thankfully the rain moved out in time for the noon shotgun start, and although we lost a few pre-registered groups to the cold weather, the field was relatively plump with 12 groups that persevered despite the less than optimal weather conditions. With temperatures hovering around 48 degrees at tee-off and winds around 15-20 mph, there definitely was a nip in the air.
With a score of -13, the group of Brandon Stoll, Max Palmquist, Sarah Morrison, and Jake Horstman reigned supreme as this year’s champions. In addition to their low score, the also won both skins holes with a birdie on #10 and shooting an eagle on #14. The champions will have their names engraved on the Hoppe Bats traveling trophy that recognizes winners for this event as well as a complementary round of golf at CreeksBend Golf Course.
2nd place went to the team of TJ Larson, Jim Schroeder, Josh Biezuns, and Nikki Novak, who finished with a score of -10. In 3rd place was the team of Mike Keating, Kirk Loehr, Tim Hanson, and Eric Lindstrom coming in at -9.
Jim Conroy won for longest putt on the 4th hole, Tor Anderson picked up closest to the pin on #7, and longest drive on the 9th went to Tom Pickett. For their efforts, all were rewarded with a 12 pack of Michelob Golden Draft.
With 17 full or partial teams pre-registered, the tournament field included 9 Jays and Mudcats alumni, and 7 former champions from the past 5 of 8 tournaments.
An announcement about the 2020 Prior Lake Hardball Golf Invitational will be forthcoming with a potential move to the Fall and expanding to more local teams in the Prior Lake baseball community with similar fundraising needs.
“We have been fortunate with weather, including this year. More certainty on temperature could lead to a larger field of golfers as we lost several teams that pre-registered for 2019.” according to former tournament director Tex Chapman who assisted Jays player and tournament director Ben Kelsey in his first tournament leadership role.
The Prior Lake Hardball Golf Invitational tournament committee wishes to send a special thanks to CreeksBend Golf Course, College City Beverage/Mark Bergstrom, AlertDistributing/Mark Schroeder, Universal Athletic, Wells Fargo Prior Lake, and Hoppe Bats/Al & Cindy Hoppe.
A full image gallery from the event can be found here.