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Former SDSU golfer takes Bobcat Open, but three eagles steal the show

FARGO—It was a well-played three days at the Fargo Country Club for Hudson Carpenter, who put the finishing touch on his Bobcat North Dakota Open title Sunday, Aug. 28. Even a bogey on 18 didn't phase him.

The former South Dakota State golfer from Stillwater, Minn., made good on his first appearance on the Dakotas Tour. His three-day total of 12-under-par was two shots better than Tom Hoge and Andrew Ruthkoski, with Hoge's 67 being the best score on Sunday. Still, Hoge finished runner-up at his home course tournament for the second straight year.

It was not enough to overcome Carpenter's 64 on Saturday.

"I just made everything I looked at," Carpenter said.

The award winner in that category, however, belonged to the threesome of Ruthkoski, Ricky Hearden III and Chris Gilman. All three eagled the par-4 16th hole on Sunday with two of the shots in dramatic fashion.

Gilman holed his chip shot from a drive that ended up about 8 yards short of an adjacent shed. Moreover, his lob shot went under a branch, onto the green and in the hole.

"I just said, what the heck, I took out my 60-degree and decided where it goes, then that's where it's going to go," Gilman said. "That was some pretty tough stuff."

Ruthkoski was next, facing a downhill 40-foot putt from the back apex of the green. No problem. He drained it. With a gallery of 50 people getting wind of two the straight eagles, it was up to Hearden III to complete the trifecta.

The former Bobcat champion greened his tee shot to within seven feet.

"There was more pressure on that putt then when I won this tournament," Hearden III said. "I was just laughing. I thought I was going to be the one to eagle the hole, not those two."

Hearden III made the putt and three golfers headed to the 17th hole with a unique tournament experience.

"I've never seen that on par 5s much less a par 4," Hearden III said.

Said Carpenter: "That's unbelievable, but that hole was driveable today."

The eagles came on a windy day that made conditions tough at times. Carpenter said his goal was to think more about pars and make the most of any birdie opportunities. It was his second win of the summer, with his first coming at the North Star Open in Dellwood, Minn., in early July on the North Star Tour.

He earned $14,500 for the win, with $4,500 of that the entry fee into the PGA Tour Qualifying School.

"I've been playing pretty well all summer," said Carpenter, an all-Summit League player. "I came in feeling good. I knew I could hang onto the lead if I could just grind out some pars."

Individual results

Hudson Carpenter, $14,500 69-64-71--204

Andrew Ruthkoski $5,500 69-69-68--206

Tom Hoge $5,500 74-65-67--206

Doug Quinones $4,000 70-67-70--207

Dave Schultz $2,300 68-70-70--208

Chris Gilman $2,300 67-71-70--208

Andre Metzger $2,300 69-71-68--208

Andrew Vijarro $1,750 69-66-74--209

Aaron Cockerill $1,750 69-69-71--209

Kurt Slattery, $1,500 72-66-72--210

Ben Welle $1,500 71-69-70--210

Jonathan Hauter $1,500 69-72-69--210

Kevin Stanek $1,325 68-69-74--211

Patrick Stolpe $1,325 71-69-71--211

Jeff Sorenson $1,160 68-69-75--212

Ricky Hearden III $1,160 71-68-73--212

Peter Lansburgh $1,160 74-65-73--212

Sam Frank $1,160 69-71-72--212

Eric Fitzsimmons $1,160 71-71-70--212

Cameron Harrell $1,012 67-71-75--213

Drew Preston $1,012 70-71-72--213

Neil Johnson, $1,012 69-72-72--213

John Kelly $1,012 72-70-71--213

Shane Smith $1,000 74-68-72--214

Thomas Campbell $900 70-71-74--215

Tim Ailes $900 75-67-73--215

Ross Miller $800 72-69-75--216

Patrick Thomas $800 73-69-74--216

Jeff Berkshire $800 69-72-76--217

Jay Jurecic $800 75-67-75--217

John Gullberg $800 73-69-78--220

Jeff Kolpack
Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at www.bisonmedia.areavoices.com. On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.
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