Loken captures third-straight ‘Classic’ crown

Aaron Loken made it three in a row at the Kitchen Creek Classic men’s golf tournament yesterday, edging out local golfer Greg Ward by one stroke.
The International Falls resident fired rounds of 72-72 to finish the two-day tourney at even par 144. Ward opened with a 71 on Saturday but closed with a 74 yesterday for a 145 total.
The contest for the crown boiled down to the two after the first nine holes. It was a close affair throughout as Ward held a slim two-shot lead entering the last seven holes.
The turning point came just after the turn as Loken carded birdies on #12 and #13 before making a par four on #14. Meanwhile, Ward could only par #12 and #13, then double-bogeyed #14.
Loken held on to his lead the rest of the way.
“It was good match and I’m happy with the result,” said Loken, 22.
Brian Beers of Fort Frances shot an impressive 72 yesterday but his 75 on Saturday left him too much ground to catch Loken. He ended up third in the championship flight with a 147.
Derek Brown (78-73–151), Shane Mann (71-82–153), Rob Badiuk (80-73–153), and Greg Ross (75-73–154) rounded out the top six in the flight.
Frank Redford (156) captured the first flight over Jim Ballard and Greg Tighe while Moe Semenivk carded a 161 to upend Steve Chown (163), Brian Hebert (164), and Terry Martinson (166) in the second flight.
Colin Wielinga (166), Al Pesola (162), and Mike McKinnon (174) took top honours in the third, fourth, and fifth flights, respectively.
Todd Hamilton (175) and Art Carpenter (183) captured the sixth and seventh flights, respectively.
Winning “closest to the pin” prizes on Saturday were Wayne Thomas (#5), Pesola (#7), Brian Melville (#11), and Bob Crowe (#13). Sunday’s winners were Pete Badiuk, Rick Baker, Rob Badiuk, and Sonny German.
Ward and Mike Krassey each one longest drive prizes for the weekend.