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Breezy Point

Local Golf
September 24, 2017

Minnesota Open To Compete At StoneRidge Golf Course
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StoneRidge #10 Photo Courtesy Peter Wong Photography
+ click to enlarge
StoneRidge #10 Photo Courtesy Peter Wong Photography
By Chris Rocheford

In the Twin Cities, the rolling landscape of Stillwater's StoneRidge Golf Course is as close as one gets to playing golf in Europe without ever leaving home. What's interesting is that deep beneath StoneRidge's manicured fairways is where you'll find the inspiration for the course's unique design and connection to European golf history.

The common buzz or misconception about StoneRidge is that it's a llnks-style course. The truth is that StoneRidge follows a heathland design. This begs the question, "What is the definition of heathland?" When Golf Architect Bobby Weed began moving earth on the StoneRidge site in 1999, an underground surprise became the trigger point to Weed formulating the first Twin Cities course based on heathland design principles.

During the early stages of course construction, Weed found 25-feet of sand beneath the first two-feet of black dirt topsoil. This discovery prompted Weed to transform StoneRidge into a design concept originally made famous in Scotland.

Now StoneRidge will join an elite group of golf courses to host the 100th playing of the Minnesota Open July 21st through the 23rd.

Minnesota's first Open Championship was hosted at The Minikahda Club in 1917. Tom Stevens, Minikahda's junior professional, became the first winner of the Minnesota State Open Championship. In 1918, the event moved to Northland Country Club where Interlachen's George Sargent won the 72-hole event by finishing with nine consecutive fours. The championship remained a 72-hole event until the late 1930's.

The first decade of the State Open clearly belonged to professional Jack Burke of Town & Country Club who won four championships, three in succession. Burke won the Championship in 1919, 1920, 1921, and 1923. The 1920's also saw the first amateur to win the Championship, when Minikahda's Harry Legg won at Interlachen Country Club in 1925.

From 1934 to 1952 the State Open belonged to Highland Park's amateur Joe Coria. During this stretch, Coria won the State Open a record seven times and finished second five times. When Coria was not winning, other Minnesota golfing greats had their chance. Minnesota Golf Hall of Famers Les Bolstad, Pat Sawyer, George Shortridge and Ron Benson have each won three State Open Championships, and Wally Ulrich has won four.

1996 PGA TOUR Player of the Year and 1996 British Open Champion Tom Lehman won the Minnesota State Open Championship in 1989, 1990, and 1993. USGA Amateur Champion John Harris won the title in 1994 and 1995. Australian amateur sensation James McLean added the 1998 State Open title to his impressive resume that included the 1998 NCAA Championship, 1998 MGA Amateur Championship, and 1998 Pine-to-Palm title.

In 1999, Don Berry, 16-time Minnesota PGA Player of the Year, claimed his second title in one of the most dramatic finishes in State Open history. Berry drained a thirty foot downhill birdie putt on the first extra hole to defeat Joe McCormick who forced the playoff with a birdie of his own on the last regulation hole. With his victory, Berry, Head Golf Professional at Edinburgh USA, who had already won the 1999 Tapemark Charity Pro-Am and the 1999 Minnesota Section Club Professional Championship, capped off the best year by a club professional in Minnesota to date when he won the 1999 Minnesota PGA Section Championship.

Most recently, in 2016, the State Open was reduced to a 36-hole championship after play was suspended on the second day due to severe weather and unplayable conditions. Ben Greve of Minneapolis Golf Club shot a second round 8-under 64; going 5-under in his final 9 holes to win by two shots over Sam Matthew of North Oaks Golf Club, the low amateur. Greve shot a two-day 10-under 134.

The Championship has been hosted by some of Minnesota's finest golf facilities such as the Minikahda Club, Northland Country Club, Interlachen Country Club, White Bear Yacht Club, the Town & Country Club, Minneapolis Golf Club, Somerset Country Club, Woodhill Country Club, and Hazeltine National Golf Club.

StoneRidge GC Selection Process
"StoneRidge was selected because we were looking for a high-quality course in the metro area that would be not only willing but worthy of hosting the Minnesota Open," said Minnesota PGA Tournament Director Darren DeYoung. "After determining that StoneRidge would be a high-quality course, exploratory discussions began about being a potential Minnesota Open host, and, fortunately, they obliged to our request."


Past Winners
2016 - Ben Greve
2015 - Andrew McCain
2014 - Trent Peterson
2013 - Jon DuToit
2012 - Ryan Peterson
2011 - Troy Johnson
2010 - Clayton Rask
2009 - Brett Swedberg
2008 - Yu Katayama
2007 - Kane Hanson
2006 - Mike Barge
2005 - Jered Gusso
2004 - Ty Armstrong
2003 - Joe Stansberry
2002 - David Tentis
2001 - Rodney Cook
2000 - Ben Meyers
1999 - Don Berry
1998 - James McLean
1997 - John Snyder
1996 - Andy Brink
1995 - John Harris
1994 - John Harris
1993 - George Shortridge
1992 - Don Berry
1991 - Bill Israelson
1990 - Tom Lehman
1989 - Tom Lehman
1988 - Jon Chaffee
1987 - Kevin Cashman
1986 - Jim Sorenson
1985 - Joel Goldstrand
1984 - Chris Perry
1983 - Mike Morley
1982 - Mike Morley
1981 - George Shortridge
1980 - Dan Croonquist
1979 - Dan Croonquist
1978 - Dave Haberle
1977 - Ron Benson
1976 - Rick Ehrmanntraut
1975 - Mike Morley
1974 - Ron Benson
1973 - Joel Goldstrand
1972 - Ron Benson
1971 - Clayton Johnson
1970 - Dave Haberle
1969 - Bob Reith Jr.
1968 - Eddie Langert
1967 - Clayton Johnson
1966 - George Shortridge
1965 - Dave Gumlia
1964 - Dave Gumlia
1963 - Joe Sodd
1962 - Gene Hansen
1961 - Gene Hansen
1960 - John Cook
1959 - Bill Waryan
1958 - Paul O'Leary
1957 - Ray Hill
1956 - Charles "Pat" Sawyer
1955 - Wally Ulrich
1954 - Ray Hill
1953 - Loren Krugel
1952 - Joe Coria
1951 - Wally Ulrich
1950 - Bill Waryan
1949 - Joe Coria
1948 - Joe Coria
1947 - Wally Ulrich
1946 - Wally Ulrich
1945 - Joe Coria
1944 - Stan Larson
1943 - Les Bolstad
1942 - Lighthorse Harry Cooper
1941 - Joe Coria
1940 - Joe Coria
1939 - Les Bolstad
1938 - Les Bolstad
1937 - Al Clasen
1936 - Charles "Pat" Sawyer
1935 - Charles "Pat" Sawyer
1934 - Joe Coria
1933 - Les Bolstad
1932 - Carson "Lee" Herron
1931 - No Tournament
1930 - Edward Baening
1929 - Jock Hendry
1928 - Jimmy Johnston
1927 - Jimmy Johnston
1926 - George Smith
1925 - Harry Legg
1924 - George Smith
1923 - Jack Burke
1922 - Tom Stevens
1921 - Jack Burke
1920 - Jack Burke
1919 - Jack Burke
1918 - George Sargent
1917 - Tom Stevens

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