Sports

Pat Erb cards 5 birdies for co-lead in strong Men's City Senior Am golf tournament debut

Second round of 3-day tournament is Saturday at Gardner Golf Course

Pat Erb, 50, shot a 4-under par 68 and was the Open Division co-leader after the first round of the Men’s City Senior Am on Friday, Aug. 2, 2019 at Twin Pines Golf Course in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Douglas Miles/The Gazette)
Pat Erb, 50, shot a 4-under par 68 and was the Open Division co-leader after the first round of the Men’s City Senior Am on Friday, Aug. 2, 2019 at Twin Pines Golf Course in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Douglas Miles/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — For over two decades, Pat Erb was a fixture at the annual Men’s City Amateur golf tournament.

But as the Indian Creek Country Club member reached his late 40s, he decided to forgo tournament play until he was eligible to compete in the Men’s City Senior Am at age 50.

That appears to have been worth the wait.

“I hit some good drives that left me short approaches,” Erb said after firing a 4-under par 68, which has him tied for the lead after the first round of the Men’s City Senior Am’s Open Division on Friday at Twin Pines Golf Course. “Twin Pines is not a long course. I had some good drives that left me chips, so I could hit a chip and attack short putts for birdie. It really helped.”

Erb is a Nebraska native who played just one year of high school golf. After graduating from the University of Nebraska in 1993, Erb relocated to Cedar Rapids for a job with Rockwell Collins.

That is when his golf game began to take off.

“Once I started playing, I just loved the game,” Erb said. “And then once I graduated from college, I could actually start to afford to play a little more. That is what really helped me peak, is being able to afford to play a lot.”

The Indian Creek membership has helped Erb develop a strong short game, while the continual technological advancements in golf equipment has resulted in a drive that travels just as far or even farther than it did in his 30s and 40s.

Erb's drives on holes No. 6 and No. 9 rested just 2 yards short of the green.

“I am still pretty long for a 50-year-old,” Erb said. “I can hit it out there, which really helps me.”

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Erb’s hiatus from tournament play stemmed from his realization that he was not going to be in contention against much younger players in the Men’s City Am. Leading up to his return, Erb continued to play two or three times a week, so his game was hardly rusty.

Still, his first tournament in a few years presented some mental challenges.

“I try to make it as similar,” Erb said. “It is hard to do. You put the word ‘tournament’ in there and I still get nervous. I am a 50-year-old. I still get nervous at that first tee box. I am still nervous. Normally when I play, I am not nervous at all because you are just playing with your buddies for fun. I still get nervous. I try not to do anything different. I try to make it as fun as possible. Hit the ball, go find it, hit it again, play.”

Erb birdied four holes on the front nine, then responded to a bogey on No. 17 with a birdie on 18 to tie three-time Men’s City Senior Am champion Todd Hingtgen.

The second round begins Saturday at 7:30 a.m. at Gardner Golf Course before concluding Sunday at Ellis.

“For me, it is all about keeping my tee shot in play,” Erb said. “If I can keep my tee shot in play at Gardner, I am going to be fine. I have played Gardner so many times. It is all about keeping my tee shot in play, and from there I should be good.”

SENIOR MEN’S CITY AMATEUR

At Gardner Golf Course

(Par 72)

FIRST ROUND RESULTS

Open Division

68 — Pat Erb, Todd Hingtgen

69 — Lee Larson, Mark Hogenson

70 — Rob Dickerman

71 — George Gartelos, Jay Glasford, Kevin Paulsen, Mark Johnson

72 — Eddie Mercado, Jerry Johnson, Sam Aossey

73 — Bill Sutton, Brian Runels, Frank Gaffney, Rich Patterson, Scott Unash, Tom Wicke, Tony Foss, Vern Boenish

74 — Brian Kristansen, Dave Norton, John Smith, Kevin Hinz, Marty Chute, Mike Ahrendsen

75 — Neil Bolstad, Tim Ingwersen

76 — Paul Steingreaber, Thomas Lehmkuhl

77 — Craig Furnish, Guss Ronnenberg, Tom Busch

78 — Jim Peterson, Rich Brandt, Tom Duffy

79 — Eric Livingston, Jim McPartland

81 — Todd Peterson

83 — Bert Kalisch

84 — Andrew Secrest

90 — Steve Norman

97 — Jim Harden

Senior Division

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75 — Danny VanPelt, Dwight Nebraska, Peter Westphalen, Todd Slater

76 — James Paterson, Wes Burns

77 — Craig Hepker, Jon Buikema, Terry Lee Turner

78 — Andy Fiala, Chris Chiccehelly

81 — Phillip Hansen

82 — Clark Harberts, Dennis Gienau, Jeff Hannen

83 — Aaron McCarthy, Mike Calef

84 — John Pelechek

89 — Kevin Pyron

90 — Brian Meier

93 — Greg Williams

95 — Tom Kydd

97 — Jim Just

Silver Senior Division

69 — Jack Peacock

71 — Collin Williams

72 — John Negro

73 — Art Barron, Jon Styre

74 — Bill Cink

76 — Steve Taylor

78 — Dennis Mecsko, Keith Nanke

81 — Chris Carlson, Dan Malloy, Mike Humphrey

84 — Ian Cullis, Jay Wolfe, John Cruise

89 — Del Warner

95 — Jim Berger

97 — Don Jones

Super Senior Division

65 — Craig Pettit

67 — Brian Shumaker

68 — Dennis Fitz

71 — Duane Turner

72 — Bruce Jacobs

73 — Dan Bubon, Tim O’Brien

74 — John Blow, Mark Ultis, Richard Ralston, Rick Davis

75 — Jim Koester, Roland Bassett Sr., Ron Stecker

76 — Bob Stauffer, Steve Mrkvicka, Tim Kennedy

77 — David Huk, Jim Ickes, Kevin Dolan, Paul Sowada

78 — Steve Wahle

79 — Bob Poundstone

80 — Gordon Freeman, Kenneth Therkelsen, Roger Hallquest, Ronald Freeman

81 — Brett Wagner

82 — Terry Young, Tim Gradoville, Vic Slaymaker

83 — Roy Lange

84 — Wally Hutchings

87 Dennis Brant

93 Charles Watkins

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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