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
FIRST ROUND RESULTS
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
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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
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