Home cookin': Superior’s Barschdorf shows steely resolve to win Nemadji InviteJim Barschdorf remembers the plastic golf set he bought for his son, Steve, when he was just a toddler. It was perhaps the best investment a father ever could make as Steve wore the set out swinging the “clubs” at the family home in Superior.
By: Jon Nowacki, Duluth News Tribune
Jim Barschdorf remembers the plastic golf set he bought for his son, Steve, when he was just a toddler.
It was perhaps the best investment a father ever could make as Steve wore the set out swinging the “clubs” at the family home in Superior.
It wasn’t long before Steve Barschdorf took to the real course, and quite naturally, he proved pretty good at that, too, just like Sunday at Nemadji Golf Course.
Barschdorf was too smart, too steady and too good while winning the 78th Bill Law Nemadji Invitational with a 45-hole total of 4-under 175, good for a three-stroke victory over Hermantown native Topher Baron.
“It feels good,” Barschdorf said. “I’ve come close before, but this is my first time winning a full-field tournament like this. It’s nice to finally get one.”
Barschdorf, 26, came into Sunday’s second round tied for the lead with recent Hermantown High School graduate Andy Krasaway with 4-under 67s as 11 golfers were under par after 18 holes.
Starting Sunday’s 27-hole final on Nemadji’s more difficult East-West course proved challenging.
Krasaway, who helped lead the Hawks to a second-place finish at the Minnesota Class AA meet last month, faltered, leaving a final foursome of Barschdorf (3 under), Dave Isaacson (1 under), Baron and Kyle Ness (both even) playing nine holes on Nemadji’s North course.
Barschdorf and his father are regulars at Nemadji, but the younger Barschdorf said it wasn’t as much of a home-field advantage as some might think.
“A lot of the golfers here have played the East-West course almost as much as I do,” Barschdorf said. “I probably play it three times a year, but I knew if I could get to the North nine with a lead, I’d be in pretty good shape.”
Conditions were muggy, with temperatures in the 80s and little relief until the wind picked up toward the end of the day. Between shots, the golfers bolted for the shade.
Baron, 30, is a former three-sport athlete at Hermantown, but did not play high school golf. The school has become like a golf factory, producing top-level players who have been turning up on the leaderboards of local tournaments in recent years.
While Isaacson struggled with his putter, Baron and Ness certainly had their chances to make things interesting. Baron came an inch from a birdie on a chip on No. 18, and just missed on two putts on the final nine. Ness had a ball go off the pin on North No. 7 that could have been an eagle, and had another eagle opportunity on the next hole. Instead, he three-putted for par.
“No complaints with second. It’s Steve’s home course, and it showed,” said Baron, who lives in St. Paul and works as a caddie at Spring Hill Golf Club in Wayzata. “With a big lead like that, it forces the other golfers to try to make something happen and hope he messes up. We had to make up some shots, and we knew he wasn’t going to stumble. I played with Steve all day, and he was as steady as they come. He didn’t falter at all.”
The key moment came on North No. 6, when Barschdorf hit a 7-iron from 156 yards out. The ball bounced once and lipped out about 18 inches from the cup for an easy birdie and four-shot lead.
“That was easily my shot of the day,” Barschdorf said. “For the most part, I hit the ball where I wanted the entire day, and after I hit that one, I was feeling good. Things look a lot easier when you’re three or four shots up.”
Barschdorf finished in style, saving par after his tee shot on No. 9 landed left of the bunker. He sank a 6-footer while members of the gallery congratulated his dad, Jim, an 80-year-old who has shot below his age three times already this year.
Barschdorf was adopted when he was 3 months old from India. He works as a sales associate at Radio Shack in Superior. He has finished third and fifth at Nemadji, second at the Hayward Open a couple times and has led qualifying at other tournaments but couldn’t capture that elusive first title.
“I figure if you keep putting yourself in this position,” Barschdorf said, “eventually, something good is going to happen.”
Sunday, it did.