Xan Milligan wins 2022 Interstate Amateur Championship | Golf - bdsthanhhoavn.com

Xan Milligan wins 2022 Interstate Amateur Championship | Golf

DAKOTA DUNES — Perspective helped Xan Milligan win the 2022 Interstate Amateur golf tournament on Sunday at Two Rivers Golf Course.

Milligan, a Morningside University graduate, took the championship trophy home with him with a 36-hole score of 138, which was two-under-par for the course.

It was his first win in this tournament.

“It was fun to compete in a tournament with other guys who I’ve been competing with for four and a half years,” Milligan said. “It’s fun to get my name on the trophy, for sure.”

Milligan carded a 67 on Sunday, giving up the three-stroke win over Josh Wendling and Christopher Rager, who both had 141s.

Wendling earned second by scoring a 70 on Sunday, while Rager turned in a 72.

All three golfers earned an eagle during the second round, but perhaps Milligan’s came at the best time.

Milligan’s eagle happened on the No. 14 hole, which was a par-4. The tee box at Two Rivers was moved up on Sunday, marking the hole from tee to hole for 290 yards.

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The course had already installed a new water hazard, but that didn’t scare Milligan. He chose his driver of the tee, and shot with a big, high cut.

At first, Milligan didn’t like his tee shot, but after he saw the ball land just short and to the right of the green, he ended up liking it a little bit more.

He had a short chip, and he used his pitching wedge that allowed the ball to take two short bounces before it went right into the cup.

“That one set me in a good frame for the final four holes,” Milligan said.

On hole No. 13, Milligan’s tee shot went left, going out-of-bounds by about 30 yards. Milligan wasn’t happy about that shot, but he knew that he couldn’t let one shot — even late in the round — be a deterrent.

So, he shot it again and wound up getting up-and-down.

When Milligan’s tee shot went off on 16, his confidence shot up, too.

“There are things that are worse than hitting a golf shot out of bounds,” Milligan said. “I think I just had an attitude of being open-minded and accepting where the ball would go. You just have to accept that golf sometimes isn’t going to go your way. That allows me to play freely.”

Over the last four holes, Milligan was able to take care of his business and hold off both Wendling and Rager.

“I just put it all into perspective,” Milligan said. “That really made me see things in a bigger picture. That’s something you learn as you get older, and that’s something I certainly wish I had when I was playing for Morningside.”

Wendling finishes second again

Wendling again placed second in an area major tournament. He said Sunday it was probably the 18th or 19th time he had earned the silver medal in a city tournament.

When he was younger, placing second dwelled on him. He became frustrated, and wanted to find what wasn’t allowing him to go from second to first.

Now, the 47-year-old has a different perspective. He’s glad to be competing with the younger group of golfers like Milligan.

“I feel like it’s fun to compete and have a good time,” Wendling said. “Xan is a great kid, and all these Morningside and Briar Cliff golfers who play with us are all great golfers. I think maybe 10 years ago, I took it hard. I beat myself up a lot. Now, I like being the old guy out there. Age doesn’t mean anything. It’s still golf — you still have to make shots and putts.

“Does it still suck to finish second? Yes. Does it still enter the back of my mind when I’m in the final group coming down the stretch? Yes. One of these days, it’s going to happen,” Wendling said. “I just have to keep that positive mentality.”

Wendling also carded an eagle on Sunday after doing so on Saturday.

His Day 2 eagle came on hole No. 6.

Wendling hit driver off the tee, and that shot put him within 95 yards of the hole. He was in the rough, but it was on an uphill lie. He had a nice opening and he hit a 50-degree wedge on the shot.

Just like Milligan’s eagle ball, Wendling’s ball took two bounces before finding its home in the cup.

The rest of the Top 10

Jason Vander Kooi placed fourth at 143, and Ray Sencenbaugh was one stroke behind for fifth place.

Jeff Donaldson was sixth at five-over with a 145. Elijah Lamoureux was exactly at even par for the 36 holes, carding a 146.

Two men — P.J. Vaske and Cory Meyer — tied for eighth at 148. There was a three-man tie for 10th at 149 involving Colin Mitchell, Sergeant Bluff-Luton High School grad Schuyler Warren and Marcus Rens.

Other flight winners

A Flight: Jim Tritz won with a 149, three strokes ahead of Colyn Oostenink.

B Flight: Matthew Mousel won with a 151, and he won by six strokes.

C Flight: There were three men who carded 167: Julian Lee, Blake Budde and Jason Cleveland.

D Flight: Kevin Butler won the flight with a score of 190.

Skins championship: Donaldson, Wendling and Lamoureux each won two skins games.

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