BY BRUCE STRAND,
A stirring rally Colton Buege of Rogers fell short as he lost in the semifinals of the MGA Players Championship to Andy Jacobson of Willmar 2-and-1 at Windsong Farm in Indendence on Wednesday.
Jacobson, representing Eagle Valley Golf Club, went on to win the championship, beating Tim Hamm of Rush Creek in Maple Grove, 4-and-3, in the finals.
Buege, a sophomore-to-be with the Gophers, representing Fox Hollow Golf Club, was a semifinalist for the second straight year after winning twice on Tuesday and once on Monday. He was the only semifinalist from last year to advance this far again.
On the par 71 course measuring 7,346 yards, Jacobson, 32, led by five holes with seven to play. Buege battled back within two with four holes to go. Still down by two on No. 17, Buege almost picked up another but his eight-foot putt hung on the lip of the cup.
Jacobson had four birdies in the first 11 holes and led by five. Buege then drained a 20-foot putt to take No. 12, and added No. 13 when Jacobson landed an approach shot in the sand.
Buege hammered a perfect drive on the 450-yard, par-four No. 14 while Jacobson pulled his tee shot, after which Buege’s approach landed 10 feet from the cup, and the hole was conceded. Two down.
Another excellent drive by Buege on No. 15 put more pressure on Jacobson, but Buege’s approach sailed just wide of the green. That hole was halved, and so was No. 16 as Jacobson held firm.
On 17, both players hit the bunker on their tee shot. Buege knocked a 135-yard wedge to eight feet and kept his improbable comeback hopes alive, but the putt stalled a fraction of an inch short.
Buege earned 100 MGA player points for a great start to the 2012 season.