Consistency was the name of the game for Colin Pearson during the second round of the 65th annual Fort Dodge Amateur men’s golf tournament here Saturday.
Entering moving day atop the open division leaderboard, Pearson separated himself from the rest of the pack by carding a new tournament record nine-under par 62 at the Fort Dodge Country Club, narrowly missing out on the all-time course mark (61) set by former Algona resident and ex-FDCC course superintendent Donnie Teeter.
After another hot and breezy morning of action, Pearson was the only frontrunner to tee off during the afternoon session in which he eclipsed his previous career-low score of 65. The 2012 Fort Dodge Senior High graduate now owns a comfortable four-stroke advantage over Cory Braunschweig (69-64-133), while defending FD Am title holder Tanner Kesterson (70-72-142) currently sits in third. Bret Taylor (73-70-143) and Tanner Ludwig (73-70-143) are deadlocked in fourth.
“I knew I had to take advantage of the good conditions, and I was able to make a lot of putts,” Pearson said. “(Friday) the course was hard and firm, and (Saturday) morning it was really windy. I was very fortunate the wind died down in the afternoon to allow me to play my best.
“One of my (senior) playing partners, Rick Jones, had a hole-in-one on (the par-three) No. 11, which built some momentum for our whole group and gave us a great vibe. Give kudos to him, because that was awesome to watch.”
Pearson, a two-time defending city champion who is a member of the Indian Hills golf team, made a rare double-eagle on the par-five 15, along with birdies on 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 and 13. His lone bogey came on 14.
“I didn’t really keep a score in mind,” said Pearson, who tied for fourth with three others at last year’s Fort Dodge Am. “I just wanted to stay patient, stick to my gameplan and let my game come to me. Hopefully, I can finish strong and have another good round (today).”
Braunschweig, the 1995 and ’96 FD Am champ, eagled 15, with birdies on 5, 6, 9, 11, 12 and 13. The former Iowa State and Drake golfer lives in Urbandale.
“I’ve shot a 65 a few times and maybe a 63 once before (at the FDCC), but I just felt really comfortable (yesterday),” Braunschweig said. “It was my little boy Colton’s second birthday (Saturday), so I had other more important things on my mind. My goal was to try and finish in the top 10, and I didn’t expect to be (near the top of the field). Hopefully, I’ll be in that last group with the younger guys. I enjoy watching guys like Andrew (Huseman), Colin and Tanner play.”
Kesterson, who recently completed his sophomore season at Oklahoma State , managed birdies on 1, 5 and 9. He posted bogeys on 14 and 15, with a double-bogey on 13. Kesterson, who is originally from Plano, Tex., has extended family in the area and a summer home at the FDCC.
“I was just struggling on the back nine, which was my front nine,” said Kesterson. “The wind really picked up as the day went on, but I still left a lot of shots out (on the course). It took awhile to get going, and nothing was really on (Saturday).”
Seeking his second straight and fourth-ever FD Am senior crown, Joel Yunek (73-69-142) begins Sunday two shots in front of Joe Palmer (73-71-144). Bill Manske (74-72-146) and Tom Schill (72-75-147), both former FD Am senior winners, are next in line.
The top 36 players – with ties – made the cut for today’s championship flight on the open side, with 16 seniors also advancing.
Tee times start at 7:30 a.m. this morning. Pearson, Braunschweig and Kesterson will open play at 9:19 a.m on hole No. 1. Yunek, Manske and Palmer will begin at 8:45 a.m. on No. 10.
Temperatures are expected to reach 90 degrees again this afternoon, with south winds gusting to around 25 miles per hour. Chance of thunderstorms is 70 percent.