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Sigmund, Meyerink to play in regional golf tourney

Mitchell natives Brandon Sigmund and Jeff Meyerink have played in tournaments together before and they will do so again today as they compete in the Midwest Cup at Wild Horse Golf Club in Gothenburg, Neb.

The Midwest Cup is a regional golf tournament which features nine players on each team who represent one of Midwest states. This year eight state teams will participate, including South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Wisconsin.

"I think it is a great honor," Meyerink said. "I have always been looking for good competition and I am as prepared as I can be for this type of tournament. Playing on the Dakota Pro Tour, I have been around a lot of good competition, but I think this tournament could match that quality."

This is the tournament's eighth year in existence, and it originally started as a competition between Wisconsin and Illinois, before adding Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota a few years later. This year, South Dakota, Kansas and Missouri are making their first-ever appearances in the tournament.

"We wanted this tournament to be a true Midwest tournament, and with only four states we didn't really think we were representing the Midwest," said Steve Hjortness, who is the Minnesota team captain. "We worked on adding teams this year and reached out to some states and amazingly they decided they wanted to be in, and we are happy to have them."

The tournament is sponsored by Culver's, PGA tour members Steve Stricker and Mark Wilson, as well as Sun Mountain and Footjoy Golf Company. Each player pays an entrance fee. A portion of the money taken in during the tournament goes toward the Evan Scholarship Golf Fund and the Nebraska Junior Golf Program.

Joining Sigmund and Meyerink on the South Dakota squad is Mike Brummer, of Rapid City, Chris Long, of Garretson, Ben Irlbeck, of Sioux Falls, Tyler Rachetto, of Rapid City, Ryan Jansa, of Sioux Falls, Josh Cluff, of Rapid City, and Pat Lockwood, of Brookings.

Brummer and Lockwood are members of the South Dakota Golf Association Hall of Fame. Meyerink and Sigmund also bring championship experience to the team. Sigmund was the 2012 SDGA Player of the Year and won the SDGA stroke play and Mid-Amatuer championship, while Meyerink has won the Mitchell city title four times.

"I feel privileged to be in this situation to represent our state for the first time in this tournament," said Meyerink, who received his invitation to play in the tournament via a call from tournament director Eric Hjortness. "I don't think anybody who is competitive would turn this opportunity down. ... This is a great way to show how good the state is in golf, and with Brandon and I both being from Mitchell, I think that speaks volumes about the level of golf in our community."