If you were near The Bluffs Golf Course last weekend, you probably noticed the jammed parking lot and people everywhere on the course. The annual South Dakota Open took place again last week, with many local amateur golfers vying for the top of the leaderboard as well as their professional counterparts.
The South Dakota Open is part of the 18 event Dakota’s Tour, with multiple states in the upper Midwest hosting events. Tour Executive Director, Dennis Chandler, gets excited when the tour stop comes to Vermillion.
“As Executive Director of the Dakotas Tour and one of the golf professionals at The Bluffs, I take great pride in the Dakotas Tour event at The Bluffs. Even though I go to each of the Tour's 18 events for a short time,” said Chandler. “The Bluffs event allows me to watch the players for four days which gives me a great opportunity to interact with many more of them. For me, it’s a great time."
The tour stop this year featured a field of 65 professional golfers from 16 states as well as 2 Canadian provinces, along with 104 amateurs from Vermillion, the state, and even surrounding states. Saturday, the event was delayed several times by weather, necessitating a Sunday finish for many of the afternoon wave of players. The final round of the event got off the tee box with just a short delay.
The professional tournament was won by Ben VanScoyk of Grand Rapids, Mich. at 16 under par, while the amateur division was won by Adam Chandler of Vermillion, S.D. at 3 under par. In the pro division, the winner was determined on the last hole with many Vermillion golf fans surrounding the 18th green. Nathan Maas of Las Vegas, Nev. was unable to drop his 8ft uphill birdie putt to send the tournament into extra holes, giving VanScoyk the victory.
Chandler said that the event was a success, and the help he receives to put on a great show is truly appreciated. A fabulous meal was prepared by Travis Taggert and served for the community on Thursday evening and to the participants on Friday and Saturday evening. Feed back from the players, amateurs and professionals was very positive for all aspects of the tournament.