The Brainerd lakes area golf scene is giving away money left and right and there is still more to be won.
In the first six years of the Brainerd Lakes Area Par 3 Championship, at Grand View Lodge's The Pines, two golfers have claimed $5,000 hole-in-one prizes.
Sunday, that number more than doubled as three aces were recorded, including one on the first swing of the day.
Scott Lindgren aced the 135-yard ninth hole of The Woods to rake in $5,000.
"It was his first swing and all of a sudden the whole course is screaming," said Pines PGA professional Jack Wawro.
The second hole-in-one was carded by John Grudnowski on the 135-yard, seventh hole of the Woods.
Then it was Paul Sandelin's turn. The attorney from Pequot Lakes teed up his No. 7 Titleist, took out his 7-iron and aced the 163-yard, eighth hole of The Lakes.
"It was a good shot and we could see it drop on the green," Sandelin said from his office Monday. "It was short of the pin and then it was rolling toward it. We were all watching it. I said that looks good and figured it was a kick-in birdie. I looked away walking toward the cart and then I looked back and the ball must have hung on the lip for about a second and then boom, it went in."
Sandelin said the clubhouse was fun afterward and the best part was the tab was split three ways between the three skins winners.
It was Sandelin's first hole-in-one. He plans on using the winnings next week as his family has a vacation planned.
"It was a wild day," he said. "That was a lot of fun. I think I'll be playing in that tournament a couple of more times."
Before the tournament The Pines had surrendered just eight aces this summer. In Wawro's tenure at Grand View, he has never seen even two holes-in-one happen on the same day.
"The first one everyone knew about," said Wawro. "The second one people had heard about it, but didn't know for sure. Then when Paul walked in around the corner, I was posting scores on the board, and everyone just went crazy."
Sandelin's was the first $10,000 prize awarded in the tournament and it was the first ace on The Lakes during the tournament. The other four all happened on the Woods.
"After everything was done I jokingly told them thanks for playing the last Par 3 Championship," Wawro said. "$20,000 is a lot of money to give out in one day."
Pine Beach Shoot Out
On one day, after two rounds of golf, one player will win $7,000 during the inaugural Madden's Resort Pine Beach Shoot Out.
A total of $10,000 of the resort's money is available to the top three players Sept. 16.
Spots remain for the 36-player tournament. To qualify a player needs to play one round at the Pine Beach East or Pine Beach West course at Madden's in East Gull Lake. A $25 qualification fee is required prior to the person's round. After the round, the player's score is entered. The lowest 18 scores on the West and the lowest 18 on the East will comprise the championship field.
Golfers can qualify an unlimited amount of times. The last day to qualify is Sept. 3.
The event is open to professionals and amateurs. This is a scratch tournament, meaning no handicaps will be used.
"We were looking to do some kind of unique event for this area," said Madden's head PGA professional Chris Foley. "There are a million golf tournaments around here and the state so we wanted a unique idea that would get people out playing the Pine Beach East and West course, so that was the concept of this tournament."
The winner of the tournament will receive $7,000. Second place receives $2,000 and third place takes home $1,000. Professionals will be awarded cash. Because the USGA limits the amount of money amateurs can win, they will receive $750 in gift certificates with the balance of the prize being donated to the charity of the winner's choice in their name.
The leader on the East course, according to the Madden's Shoot Out Web site, is John Carlson of Blaine with a 63. Brian Sweeney's 66 on the West is the leader for that course.
The most current qualifiers were Baxter's Brad Holland, who shot 71 on the Pine Beach East Course, and Luke Martin of Big Rapids, Mich., who shot 71 on the West Course.
Of the 23 players qualified as of Monday, 13 were from the West course and 10 from the East.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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