Golfers’ paths meet up [UPDATED]Published 11:04am Friday, August 31, 2012 Updated 11:04am Friday, August 31, 2012
For the golfers who play it, the Pot O’ Gold and the Labor Day Classic events this weekend mark a unique golfing opportunity: the chance to meet new people, face off against tough competition and even be followed by fans, all while staying local at Fergus Falls’ Pebble Lake Golf Course.
Just ask Scott Christison, who’s golfing with Dan Madsen this year in the Labor Day Classic. The former semi-pro hockey goalie considers golf something of a second sport, as he has been playing it since high school.
“You kind of get back to where it’s fun to have the crowds following you,” he said. “I tend to make it more seriously when I’m under a little pressure.”
In fact, his last few practice rounds at the course have been his best all year.
Christison has also enjoyed getting to know his partner. Calling Madsen a real competitor, Christison is also impressed by Madsen’s resiliency. In 2008, Madsen was in a serious head-on motorcycle crash in Mahnomen County, breaking almost 50 bones and going into a coma for several days. In the last week, Madsen has chatted with Christison about his recovery, including proving doctors wrong when they said he’d never be able to golf again.
“You get out there and he plays a completely different game than he used to,” said Christison, noting that Madsen hits shorter but has good shot placement. “The guy is just rock solid.”
The Pot O’ Gold and Labor Day Classic players are split by handicap and then paired off into teams. Though Christison never really knew Madsen before they were paired, he has prior experience with his partner’s game: in 2011, Christison and Jerry Ness bested Madsen and Gary Haffley in the Labor Day Classic consolation final.
However, Christison noted with a chuckle, Madsen had forgotten he’d played Christison when they were paired up this year.
“That’s the sign of a true athlete,” said Christison. “You remember the wins, you forget the losses.”
This year, the duo are hoping for success in a talented field, most separated by only about five strokes.
“We both have good short games, (and) we both putt well,” Christison said.
In the first round of play Saturday, the eighth seeded Madsen and Christison are facing off against the fifth seeded Tony Rendz and Brian Bond at 11:20 a.m. Pot O’ Gold action begins at 9 a.m.