Labor Day Classic a friendly competitionDickinson Trinity High School graduate Zared Lefor said this weekend is the last hurrah of the golf tournament season.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Dickinson Trinity High School graduate Zared Lefor said this weekend is the last hurrah of the golf tournament season.
That hurrah comes in the form of the 64th annual Kevin Bergman Labor Day Classic that starts today and ends Monday at Heart River Golf Course.
“It’s a great tournament,” Lefor said. “You get to see a lot of friends and it’s always good competition.”
About 130 to 140 golfers from all over the country will play the course with 61 of those entries vying for a spot in the championship flight. Only 18 will make it into the championship flight, while the rest will disperse to the lower flights.
A golfer that knows a great deal about the championship flight is Dickinson native and two-time defending champion Tyler Reisenauer.
“It’s a different ballgame when it’s match play,” said Reisenauer, who has been golfing in the Labor Day Classic for 12 years. “You can have a bad hole, you can have a good hole, but the more steady you are, the better you are going to do in match play.”
Is Reisenauer ready to win his third championship in a row? One of his main competitors, Bismarck’s Paul Keller, won’t be playing in this year’s tournament.
“Absolutely,” Reisenauer said. “We’re going for three in a row. We’ll see what happens. I’m disappointed that Paul Keller isn’t back, which is always a good rivalry.”
Heart River Golf Course professional Jeremy Davis said a glance at the championship flight entries show golfers from California, Minnesota, Colorado, New York, Ohio, Utah, Montana and, of course, North Dakota. The experience of seeing old friends and meeting new ones continues to bring people back each year.
“It’s a testament to the event itself,” Davis said. “It’s to the quality of golf here, the community and it’s really a lot of things that continue to bring people back.”
“That’s the biggest part of the tournament, everybody coming back” Reisenauer added. “You only get to see them once a year and that’s the best of tournament.”
The Labor Day Classic has a range of flights all the way down to recreational, where there is no handicap.
“We do have a pretty broad range of skill levels,” Davis said. “The purely recreational all the way up to the championship flight, where we have those 60, 70 entries trying to qualify for the championship flight.”
Lefor said qualifying for the championship flight is daunting, but one of the true prizes is making it to the final pair of the championship flight on Monday.
“It’s a grind the first 18 holes, because you have to qualify,” Lefor said. “After that, it’s one match at a time and the whole goal is to make that last championship match. It’s usually a pretty good time to be in that last pairing, because there’s a pretty good audience and great competition.”