Men: Kinseth, Underberg return to the spotlight

Ryan Kinseth and Dean Underberg returned to the winner’s circle on Sunday in the 34th annual Messenger city golf tournament, sponsored by Fort Dodge Ford Lincoln Toyota.

Playing the final round at Lakeside, Kinseth cruised to a five-shot triumph, winning for the first time since taking the crown in 2005.

Underberg needed three playoff holes to triumph over Dean Wendell in the senior division. It’s Underberg’s first title since he captured four straight from 2006-09.

Underberg also became the first six-time champion in either division. Kevin Ault earned five straight open crowns from 2006-2010. Underberg also prevailed in 2004.

Kinseth, who led from start to finish, shot an even-par 72 over the first 18 holes at Lakeside Sunday. He closed with a two-under 34 on the championship nine, played on the back side at Lakeside.

“It was a pretty good day,” said Kinseth. “I had an uneven round to start. Just staying even was big. I thought I hit the ball well.”

Kinseth, who turned in a 67 at the Country Club Saturday to take the first-day lead, has now won the Hampton Open and the Lakeside Amateur this summer. He’ll play in the Cedar Rapids Open this weekend, a pro tournament. He was one of 15 amateurs invited to play.

Just a few weeks ago, Kinseth took the first-day lead at the Fort Dodge Amateur, but stuggled down the stretch.

He didn’t let that happen Sunday.

The Fort Dodge Senior High graduate’s 45-hole total of 173 bested Lucas Peed and Austin Morrow, who finished tied for second at 178.

Ryan Reeder was fourth at 182 and Devin Gallentine rounded out the top five with a 184.

Defending champion Phil Ruth followed his opening-round 77 with a 73 at Lakeside and he finished sixth after a final-round 37 for a 187.

Underberg and Wendell finished with 45-hole totals of 176 and each had a chance to win on the first two holes of sudden death.

Wendell missed a birdie putt on No. 10 that would have won him his first title. Underberg had a birdie putt lip out on No. 11 that would have ended it.

Underberg then stuck one close on No. 12 and after Wendell settled for a tap-in par, Underberg sank a 10-footer for his first senior title in five years.

“I thought it was over when I missed that one (on No. 10),” said Underberg, who hasn’t played in this tournament since winning in 2009. “I hit the ball well. That final nine was as good as I played all weekend.”

Underberg, who was tied with first-day leader Rick Jones at 141 after 36 holes, thought he was in trouble after Wendell chipped in for birdie on No. 14 and Underberg missed a six-footer.

Wendell finished with a 33 on the championship nine. He sank birdie putts on Nos. 10, 12, 14 and 18. Underberg made a birdie on No. 10 then finished with eight straight pars.

Jones shot a 37 on the championship nine and finished third at 178.

The most impressive performance on Sunday was turned in by defending senior champ Terry Miller. He shot 82 at the Country Club Saturday, but rebounded with a 67 on the first 18 holes Sunday and a five-under par 31 in the championship nine, which included an eagle at No. 15. Miller was fourth at 180.