Ward wins third Elks golf titleMatt Ward keeps coming back for the Elks Labor Day Golf Tournament, and for very good reason. He seems to win the thing every year.
By: By Dave Selvig, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Matt Ward keeps coming back for the Elks Labor Day Golf Tournament, and for very good reason.
He seems to win the thing every year.
Ward, who was General Manager of Jamestown Country Club in 2006, won his third Elks title in the last four years on Monday, beating one of the top players in town — Steve Sedler — 5 & 4 in the championship flight final.
Ward, who lives in Minneapolis, won in 2009 and 2010 and lost to eventual champion Justin Cross in the round of 8 last year, certainly earned his latest victory.
His path included early wins over Brian Meyer — who many consider the top player in Jamestown — and Nick Myhre — one of the best high school golfers in the state.
In the semifinals, he got past Scott Torgerson, another quality player.
“Scott is such a grinder. He’s so steady and consistent,” Ward said. “I think he used the same ball in five matches. On this course, that’s incredible.”
And that left Sedler, a former Jamestown College star and perennial contender for the Elks crown.
“I always love coming back to Jamestown. The people are great. I have such a fun time with everybody. The course is awesome. … I’d have a blast if I finished dead last,” Ward said. “I just really enjoy coming back and seeing everybody. Winning … that’s kind of like the cherry on the sundae.”
Ward said the talk all weekend was the caliber of the field, which continues to grow in quantity and quality. The qualifying score was 83.
“Just from watching the other players and the talk around the course, this was probably the best field ever,” Ward said. “There are so many good players. Lots of really good young guys that are so talented. I mean, I really enjoyed watching these guys play. The length they have, the talent … It was very impressive.”
But Ward proved to be the best this weekend. The 40-year-old said, “I don’t do anything great, but I do everything pretty good. I try to make it as low stress as possible. If I only make a couple birdies, but stay away from doubles and triples (bogeys) that seems to be the best way for me.”
He also stressed the importance of his secret weapon, although it’s not much of a secret to anybody who knows anything about golf in Jamestown.
“I don’t win this tournament without Dean. There is no doubt about that,” Ward said of his good friend and caddie Dean Kraft, who is, of course, the coach of the Jamestown High School boys and girls golf teams. “Nobody knows this course like Dean. His reads are always spot-on. Plus, we just mesh together so well. I can’t tell you what an advantage it is to have him on my bag. It’s just enormous.”
Ward also had high praise for Sedler, the former Cooperstown, N.D., standout athlete, who starred in basketball for the Jimmies and also plays amateur baseball with the Central Plains Coyotes.
“Steve is such a good guy and so fun to play with. He makes it so much fun to be out there with how loose and easy going he is. … And, he’s a great player. He really is. He has the game to win this tournament and it’s just a matter of time before he does,” Ward said.
Sedler advanced to the championship round with a win over Tom Kenna, another yearly contender at this tournament.
But this weekend again belonged to Ward, who is already looking forward to 2013, regardless of how it ends.
“Labor Day means one thing, going to Jamestown and I’ll be there unless I’m injured, sick or dead,” he joked. “It’s kind of like my end-of-the-season major. A lot of people really look forward to that tournament and I’m certainly one of them.”
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org