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ND Bobcat Open to go on despite construction, previous flooding at Fargo Country Club

FARGO - The road into the Fargo Country Club is under construction. Two floods from the Red River left their mark on the course and levees protecting homes on the front nine remain unfinished.

FARGO - The road into the Fargo Country Club is under construction. Two floods from the Red River left their mark on the course and levees protecting homes on the front nine remain unfinished.

Like a mail carrier, neither rain nor sleet nor snow is stopping the Bobcat North Dakota State Open golf tournament. It's not the pristine conditions that the professionals are used to, but the alternative - to not play it at all - wasn't attractive to the tournament committee, either.

"We take a lot of pride in the history of this event and hosting it," said FCC head professional Mark Johnson. "I think we'll still be able to establish a champion and course conditions won't affect it."

Golfers will be allowed to clean and place the ball in any fairway. And all 18 greens are in top-notch shape, which is the key, Johnson said.

The Country Club has two flood alternate holes built in the last couple of years, but those greens are still new and not yet up to tournament standards. So instead of a par 71, this tournament will have a rare par 69.

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"I think it's the right decision," Johnson said.

The first of three rounds begins this morning, and golfers will find two holes shortened to par 3s because of flood damage. And that's fine with professional player Tim Frazer, a native Australian playing on the tour. The pros in general weren't deterred - there's a waiting list of 11.

"It's unfortunate, but they've done pretty well," Frazer said. "They've maintained good greens and you can't do much about anything else. You just have to accept it and just play."

Frazer, by the way, chose to play in the Dakotas Tour for his first professional experience at the advice of a friend of his coach. He probably knows a lot about Tim Ailes, the defending Bobcat champion.

Ailes, from Lewis Center, Ohio, is the current points leader after 12 events on the Dakotas Tour. He has one title, two runnerups and a pair of third-place finishes and is an obvious favorite this weekend.

So is Fargo North graduate Josh Persons, who won the pro-am event Wednesday at Oxbow Country Club with a 2-under 70. Persons is playing well finished third and second in his last two tourneys.

"We still feel like we'll give them a good test of golf," Johnson said. "The old cliché, 'Everybody will be playing the same golf course,' will ring true.'"

Pro-Am results

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Wednesday

1, Josh Persons 70. 2 (tie), Tim Kunick; Brad Marek; Josh Esler, 71. 5 (tie), Jon Sauer; Tim Ailes; Joey Lamielle 72. 8, Cameron White 73. 9 (tie), Ryan Devlin; Andrew Peterson 74. 11 (tie), Dave Schultz; Jeff Berkshire; Justin Smool 75.

Today's Tee times

North Dakota Bobcat Open

7:30 a.m.

Tee 1: Nick Bisogno, Jeffrey Eggen

Tee 10: Drew Pierson, Justin Smool, Aaron Clausen

7:40 a.m.

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Tee 1: Cory Blenkush, Tim Frazer, Patrick Kucich

Tee 10: Jeremy Hoye, Tucker Weisman, Justin Cameron.

7:50 a.m.

Tee 1: Jeremy Decko, Trent Peterson, Mike Williams

Tee 10: Jeff Burton, Andy Hansen, Matthew Leetsma

8 a.m.

Tee 1: Ralph Baxley, Ryan Devlin, Dontae Farmer

Tee 10: Ben Greve, Parker Pemberton, Jesse Lanham

8:10 a.m.

Tee 1: Josh Esler, Joey Lamielle, Christopher Myers

Tee 10: Christopher Evans, Wade Pettitt, French Beaudoin

8:20 a.m.

Tee 1: Jay Jurecic, Travis Ross, Bryce Hanstad

Tee 10: Tom Gardner, Alex Malachowski, Ben Wood

8:30 a.m.

Tee 1: Jeff Berkshire, John Runsvold, Dave Barge, Jon Anas

Tee 10: Neil Frederickson, Andrew Petersen, Neil Johnson

8:40 a.m.

Tee 1: Thomas Campbell, Mike Nerby, Jaeden Pederson, Tyler Fitzel

Tee 10: Thomas Buran, Kevin Leetsma, Brian Johnson

8:50 a.m.

Tee 1: Chad Fribley, Bill Sholl, Chuck Townsend, Tom McCormick

12:30 p.m.

Tee 1: Kris Kroetsch, Alan Spriggs, Kent Spriggs, Randy Johnson

Tee 10: Robert Bell, Brad Schmierer, Eric Van Rooyen, John Transamar

12:40 p.m.

Tee 10: Rick Morris, Ian Hessels, John Nielsen, Greg Bjerke

12:50 p.m.

Tee 1: Patrick Stolpe, Keith Duchscher, Jack Easton, Paul Javis

Tee 10: Brad Marek, Cody Vostad, Jake Schaffer, Brady Opheim

1 p.m.

Tee 1: Dave Schultz, Erik Johnson, David Booth, Tom Pratt

Tee 10: Jon Sauer, Todd Johnson, Dave Nelson, Kavin Davorak

1:10 p.m.

Tee 1: Josh Persons, Kane Hanson, Tom Hanson, Dick McConn

Tee 10: Brandon Crick, David Johnson, Jess Helvik, Chad Cota

1:20 p.m.

Tee 1: James Hackenberg, Paul Benson, Chad Skarperud, Tim Skarperud

Tee 10: Jordan Krantz, Nick Kost, Kyle Jandro, Adam Gronaas

1:30 p.m.

Tee 1: Eric Lilleboe, Rick Kuhn, Jeff Lamp, Bob Bye

Tee 10: Ben Freeman, Jack Elliott, Brock Ellingson, Lucas Davison

1:40 p.m.

Tee 1: Tim Kunick, Russ Newman, Mike Podolak, Andrew Passanante

Tee 10: Andre Metzger, Eliel Yorobe, Nick Moore, Brandon Burke

1:50 p.m.

Tee 1: Cam White, Clint Nelson, Mike Post, Scott Atkinson

Tee 10: Ben Pisani, Nathan Anderson, Oliver Boeckel, Ursinio Puga Gil

2 p.m.

Tee 1: Don Berry, Gary Johnson, Logan Johnson, Ryan Skarperud

Tee 10: Drew Dvorak, Brandon Lee, Dylan Offutt, Zach Stenstad

2:10 p.m.

Tee 1: Tim Ailes, Mike Ballweber, Joel Honeyman

Tee 10: Jared Stevens, Zachary Stowell, Nathan Varty, Aaron Hart

2:20 p.m.

Tee 1: Jeff Sorenson, Sean Gilligan, Nick Jenson, Bill Carlson

Tee 10: John Kendall, Josh Weismantel, Shane Zentner, Trent Olson

2:30 p.m.

Tee 1: Ben Meyers, Matt Olson, Nick Engebretson, Tim Fiechtner

Tee 10: Eric Rolland, Landon Poss, Thomas Strandemo, Brandon Sletmoen

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack's NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia

Related Topics: GOLF
Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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