VICTORIA — On a waterlogged day, two of the state’s best professional senior golfers went head to head in the Minnesota PGA Senior Match Play Championship Thursday at Deer Run Golf Club.
In the end, it was Don Berry who outlasted Bill Israelson of The Vintage at Staples and captured the title.
Berry, of Edinburgh USA, ousted George Smith, Dick’s Sporting Goods, 2 and 1 during Thursday’s semifinal match before defeating Israelson by the same tally to win his second consecutive senior match play title. The title was Berry’s 10th of the season.
“I just love playing with [Israelson], I really wanted to get to the finals to play him and, to be honest with you, I didn’t care if I won or lost,” Berry said in a news release. “It’s fun to play the best and if you beat him it makes it even better.”
In Wednesday’s quarterfinal round, the No. 2-seeded Israelson earned a first-round bye before facing Peter Krause, Israelson’s swing coach, in the quarterfinals. Israelson held leads at different points in the match, but Krause, from Edinburgh USA, kept coming back. It took a birdie on the 19th hole from Israelson to eliminate Krause.
“My driver was a little off on the back nine, but then I hit some rescue clubs; you don’t have to hit driver on every hole. I’ve been hitting it a little longer here so that’s why I was making some more birdies,” Israelson said in a news release. “My short game has been good and my iron game was really good, too. I had a really good feel and I’ve been playing really well in the last month and a half.”