by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Paul Motin and Wayne Faulkner paired up for the Companions Classic only after Motin sent out an e-mail looking for a partner, but the somewhat random pairing worked out well.
The duo placed first among 42 teams in the Elk River Golf Club event Saturday and Sunday with a 194 net score that edged Jay and Dale Perbix by one stroke.
“I’d never played in this event and I wanted to give it a try, so I sent out an e-mail (to club members),” said Motin, a 30-handicapper, amazed to come out on top in his first try.
Faulkner, who’s played the event about 15 times without coming close to winning, had not intended to play. His partner last year, a close friend, Doug Franz, passed away recently.
“But when I saw Paul’s e-mail, I figured what the heck,” said Faulkner. “We know each other pretty well from the Tuesday Players Club.”
The guys were quite delighted when the last scores went up on the board Sunday evening and their 194 had held up. They high-fived like a couple teenagers while fellow golfers approached to slap their backs and shake their hands.
Motin and Faulkner played in a foursome with the Perbix brothers Saturday and trailed them by a stroke. On Sunday, playing with another duo, Faulkner shot 75 (67 net) and Motin 96 (66 net) to slip ahead of the brothers and snag the first-place money.
The format was using the better score on each hole Saturday, and net scores on Sunday.
Asked what went right, Motin said, “Wayne helped me learn how to putt and kept me calm. Low and though, he says, low and through.”
Said Faulkner: “We just tried to make the whole thing fun. We said, ‘This is Tuesday, just have fun.”
They did think about winning a little, though.
“I missed a 4 1/2 inch putt, and I hoped that wouldn’t come back and haunt us,” said Faulkner.
One highlight was Motin, an Elk River attorney and city councilman, making a chip on No. 6.
“He had some trouble and was on the right side of the green,” said Faulkner, “and I told the guys, wouldn’t this be a perfect spot for a chip-in. And he did it!”
Faulkner, who owns a machine shop in Zimmerman, is not a complete stranger to winning at ERGC; he has a first and third place finish in the Second Chance team tournament.
Jay Perbix, of Elk River, and Dale Perbix, of Zimmerman, who are Princeton natives, have played this event about eight times, and this was their first time in the money.
“I played pretty good and Dale played great,” said Jay. “HIs big thing is keeping the ball in play and he did that today. He didn’t have any big number holes.”
Placing third were a pair of retirees, Gordy Ova, 83, of Monticello and Don Gilleshammer 71, of St. Michael. Ova, whose birthday was Sunday, couldn’t quite shoot his age but had rounds of 91 Saturday, including a par-4 chip in that netted him a two, and 86 on Sunday, including a 30-foot par putt.
The Companions Classic is one of the top two events at ERGC each year, along with the club championships slated for September.
Wayne Faulkner-Paul Motin 194
Dale Perbix-Jay Perbix 195
Gordy Ova-Don Gilleshammer 202
Wally Trochlil-Dave Bleyhl 203
Tim Kratzke-Chris Miller 203
Bob Catron-Terry McKean 204
Mike Bodner-Jeff Smith 204
Roger Lamp-George Sanford 205
Matt Smerdon-Ryan Lapoint 207
Dan Tveite-Morgan White 208