Mitchell's Meyerink claims state men's match play title
BRANDON -- Jeff Meyerink won one of South Dakota's toughest golf tournaments on Sunday.
Meyerink logged 117 holes in four days and emerged as the champion in the 99th South Dakota Golf Association's men's match play championship on Sunday at the Brandon Golf Course.
The Mitchell resident Meyerink won the men's title with a 3-and-2 victory over Garretson's Chris Long. He made his charge early, winning four holes on the front nine and carrying a 3-up lead after nine holes. Long won the 10th and 11th holes to cut the advantage to 1-up, but Meyerink answered with victories on the 12th and 13th holes. After both golfers recorded pars on the 14th and 15th holes, Meyerink won the competition with a 15-foot birdie putt on Hole No. 16, and Long's try for an eagle was offline.
It is his second SDGA state title, after being a part of the two-man state title combo in 2014 with Mitchell's Brandon Sigmund. The pair was also within one stroke of claiming this year's title.
The tournament started with 89 men on Thursday, and Meyerink's qualifying round landed him in the middle of the pack to start the event, seeded 34th in the 64-man bracket following a round of 2-over-73. But the bracket quickly opened up, with three of the top four seeds failing to qualify for the final 16 spots on Saturday, and the No. 8-seeded Long was the highest-remaining seed left in Sunday's final four.
Earlier on Sunday, Meyerink defeated Tea's Kolby Newborg 2-and-1 in the semifinals, setting up the championship match with Long. Meyerink's title run opened with a 4-and-3 victories over Brandon's Austin Swenson and Aberdeen's Max Pfeiffer. In the Round of 16, Meyerink defeated Mitchell resident and Dakota Wesleyan University golfer Russell Pick 2-and-1, and defeated Jesse Talcott, of Sioux Falls, 1-up in the quarterfinals on Saturday with a birdie on the 18th hole.
In the rest of the competition, current South Dakota State University assistant golf coach Maggie Murphy, who played at Sioux Falls O'Gorman in high school and New Mexico State in college, won her first women's match play title since 2010, defeating Pierre native and University of South Dakota golfer Katie Bartlett 2-and-1. In the men's consolation bracket, Sioux Falls' Tyler Barrett defeated Blake Dornbusch, also of Sioux Falls, by a 7-and-6 margin, and Kyleigh Moran, of Vermillion, defeated Sioux Falls' Reese Jansa in 21 holes to win the women's consolation title.