FD’s Miller to state senior match play finals

Joe Palmer prevailed in a marathon showdown against Algona’s Bill Manske to earn a spot in the finals of the Iowa Senior Match Play Championship at the Fort Dodge Country Club.

Palmer will face Fort Dodge’s Terry Miller on Sunday for the championship.

A birdie on the 24th hole gave Palmer a victory in the semifinals on Saturday. Trailing by a pair of strokes, Manske won the 17th and 18th holes with par to force extra holes.

Palmer eventually stuffed his short approach to tap-in range on No. 6, which Manske conceded. Manske hit his second shot about 10 feet but was unable to sink a difficult left-to-right pitt.

Miller bested Jim Campbell in the other semifinal, 3-and-2, Miller, a former assistant pro at the FDCC and city senior champ, took advantage of some miscues by Campbell to build a 4-up lead through six that he never relinquished.

Kevin Hinz will face Steve Tucker in the finals of the consolation bracket. Hinz topped Terry Jack in the semifinals, while Tucker knocked off Thomas Fetter.

In a match that could be the determining factor in the IGA Senior Player of the Year race, Palmer downed defending event champion Gene Elliott in the morning quarterfinals.

Manske upended Gowrie’s Tom Schill (6-and-5) in the quarterfinals, while Fort Dodge’s Dave Sergeant fell to Campbell (1-up) in the quarterfinals.

This morning’s championship flight will start at 8 a.m. at the Country Club. Consolation finals action will begin at 8:08 a.m.