Wow! What a weekend! 37 players teed it up Saturday, October 20 and Sunday,
October 21, for the 34th annual Jim Jackson Invitational Championship at beautiful
Algonquin Golf Club. The field included many club champions, as well as players who
qualified throughout the year and a number of past Jackson Champions.
While Saturday’s temperature was in the 60’s, winds gusting to 25-35 MPH increased
throughout the day, making for difficult club selections and lightning fast greens. Skip
Berkmeyer (Legends and Men’s Championship Medalist) posted an even par 71 in the
first group out. Drew Pranger (Glen Echo Club Champion and defending Jackson
Champion) later carded 71, followed shortly thereafter by Chad Niezing (Legends and
Men’s Championship Runner Up) also posted 71.
The high winds of Saturday brought in a cold front, causing a two hour frost delay on
Sunday morning and daytime temperatures in the mid 50s for the second round.
Berkmeyer, Pranger and Niezing were paired together in the final round, with the lead
changing throughout the round. Niezing led by one at the turn. Standing on the 18th
tee, Berkmeyer and Pranger were tied for the lead, with Niezing one stroke back.
Meanwhile, Chris Kovach (Old Hickory and the reigning Men’s Champion) had posted a
second round 68, to go along with an opening 74, to be in the clubhouse with a two day
total of even par 142. Greenbriar’s Jason Landry had the low round of Sunday,
shooting 67 and in the house at 143.
Niezing was just off the green in the rough in two on the 480 Yard Par 5 18th hole, and
promptly chips it in for an Eagle to record a 71, and even par 142. Berkmeyer birdies
18 to also shoot 71/142, and Pranger makes par to shoot 72/143.
So Berkmeyer, Kovach and Niezing head to Hole 1 for a three man playoff. Kovach is
eliminated on the first playoff hole, making bogey to pars from Berkmeyer and Niezing.
So off they go to 18, where both make birdie, back to 1 for a couple of pars, back to 18
for a couple more birdies, and back to Hole 1, where Niezing makes par to win the
championship! Great playoff!
Many thanks to Director of Golf Scott Sandfort, Superintendent Rob Kick, and the entire
Algonquin staff for hosting another great Jackson Championship. And special thanks to
Tom and Liz Moore, Tom Tangaro, and Larry Howe for their efforts in on-line scoring
throughout the tournament. And, as always, thanks to our volunteer Rules officials for
working thru a couple of tough weather days to make the championship a success!
We are looking forward to the 2019 Griesedieck Men’s Championship at Algonquin next
year, with the Jackson to be held at Greenbriar Hills.