Action heats up

A sibling rivalry took center stage at the city tournament here Saturday.

Ryan and Brandon Kinseth both carded even-par rounds of 72 at Lakeside Golf Course to move into a tie atop the leaderboard during the 33rd annual Messenger event, sponsored by Fort Dodge Ford Lincoln Toyota.

The Kinseth brothers – 2002 and ’03 Fort Dodge Senior High graduates – joined Phil Ruth in first place, a single stroke clear of Jon Diehl and Cory Cummins in the men’s open division standings. Terry Miller, Kelsey Faiferlick and Peg Christensen are leading the men’s senior, women’s open and women’s senior divisions, respectively.

”It’s always a good battle, going against your brother,” said Brandon, the 2013 Lakeside Amateur runner-up who played with Ryan in the afternoon yesterday. ”If we’d (go head-to-head) 10 times, I’d maybe get him twice.

”You try to stay focused and just play your game. On one hand, you want your brother to do well. But it’s also a tournament, so you want to beat him just like everyone else.”

Brandon recovered from a rocky beginning, playing the final 16 holes at three-under par after a bogey-double bogey start. Ryan, the 2005 city champion, had three birdies and three bogeys.

”There’s definitely an element of competitiveness there,” Ryan said. ”We push each other and I think we’re feeding off each other a little when things are going well, but I’m here to win just like (Brandon) is.

”It’s not just about us, though. There are a lot of good golfers here who are more than capable of taking (the title) before all is said and done (Sunday night).”

Ruth tallied birdies at 10, 12 and 17 in the morning session. He bogeyed Nos. 8, 11 and 13.

Diehl was sitting three-under par with four holes left, but he bogeyed 15, 16, 17 and 18 to slip a shot back alongside Cummins. Dean Wendell (74) is alone in sixth, followed by 2001 and ’03 city winner Lucas Peed, Eddie Doyle and Tony Lawler at 75.

Miller’s two-under par 70 was the tournament’s overall low score on Saturday. Miller, the 2010 and ’12 senior title holder, recorded six birdies – at holes 1, 3, 5, 7, 15 and 16 – alongside four bogeys at Lakeside.

Miller leads Kurt Engnell and Keith Messerly by three strokes on the senior side. Scott Harms and Jim Wilke (74) are tied for fourth.

Faiferlick continued her recent domination of the women’s open field, firing a 75 at the Country Club to open up a 15-shot advantage. Faiferlick, a former St. Edmond standout and current Park University team member, has prevailed in the last two city tournaments by a combined 31 strokes.

”I’m really just trying to play my best and not worry about what anyone else is doing,” Faiferlick said. ”I want to keep focused and do my best. The rest will fall into place.

”I hit the ball solid and I’m definitely more comfortable (at the FDCC), because I play there more than (Lakeside). So (Sunday) will be a challenge.”

Christensen, last year’s runner-up to Diane Blomker in the women’s senior bracket, fired an 82 yesterday. Blomker or Roxanne Kuhlman have claimed each of the last seven senior crowns, but neither are participating this summer.

Temperatures are expected to be in the mid- to upper-80s today. Winds will be out of the south/southeast at around 15 miles per hour, and there is virtually no chance of rain.

Sunday’s shotgun start times and course locations are reversed, with the men and seniors at the Country Club and the women at Lakeside. Players who teed off at 7:30 a.m. Saturday will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, and vice versa.

The championship flight on the men’s side – which takes the top 16 and ties in the open division and top 12 with ties in the senior competition – will begin at approximately 6:30 p.m. this evening on the front nine at the FDCC.

There are 175 total players in action this weekend in the four tournament fields.