Golf: Klaers, Smith capture ERGC seniors laurels

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Pat Klaers and Bruce Smith captured top seniors honors at the Elk River Golf Club tournament on Saturday and Sunday.

Klaers was the low gross champion with 73-77–150, while Smith was low net champion with 132 after a playoff, among 30 contestants, the most of any of the divisions in the tournament.

Pat Klaers, seniors low gross winner.

“I made a few good shots, enough to hang on,” said Klaers, 57. “I had 77 today, not the best score but over two days it was good enough.”

Klaers, former Elk River city administrator, and now city manager for Arden Hills, picked up his first ERGC title.

“I’ve been close, with a could seconds and a third, so it’s nice to get over the line,” said Klaers, who’s played in 12 club tourneys, four of them in seniors. He added, “We all had a good time” and winning is “just a bonus.”

George Sanford was second with 75-78-153, with Mike White third at 80-74-154, and Phil Johnson fourth at 74-81-156.

Bruce Smith, seniors low net winner

Smith, 53, shot 82 and 80. His highlights were putts on No. 12 as he rolled in a 30-footer on Saturday and nailed a sliding, downhill  left to right putt on Sunday.

“I’ve got a 15 handicap and it’s coming down pretty good,” said Smith, chief financial officer for a firm in St. Paul. “A lot of work is going into it. I took some lessons from Terry James (of ERGC) again this spring.”

A member since 2001, Smith also nabbed his first club tourney title.

Tim Grill tied Smith with 132, and the two had a five-hole playoff with Smith finally prevailing. Dick Heger was third with 137, and Joe Whalen and Gordy Ova tied for fourth with 138’s.