Tanner Kesterson sits in an enviable position after moving day at the 64th Annual Fort Dodge Amateur men's golf tournament.
Entering Saturday's second round just one shot off the lead in the open division, Kesterson fired a five-under par 66 at the Fort Dodge Country Club to jump in front of the rest of the pack. The sophomore-to-be on the Oklahoma State University golf squad now owns a comfortable five-stroke advantage over both Johnston's Brian Allison and former Humboldt standout Jeff Panek, who turned in a 67 and 70, respectively.
"Conditions were different with the wind swirling and a bunch of rain the first couple holes, but I just scrambled all day and made the best of it," said the three-time FD city runner-up Kesterson, who has extended family in Fort Dodge. "I've had a pulled muscle in my back, so it's going to take a couple more weeks before I get back to 100 percent. I need good patience (today) and want to stick with my same gameplan."
Despite a bogey on the par-four 18, Kesterson managed to birdie 1, 7, 10, 15, 16 and 17.
"I left a lot out there and could've made some more putts," Kesterson said. "I also caught a few breaks, so I guess it evened out a little."
Allison birdied 5, 7, 8, 11, 14, 15, 17 and 18, with bogeys at 9 and 13 and a double-bogey on 10. Panek finished with five birdies and four bogeys.
1. Tanner Kesterson 69-66-135
2. Brian Allison 73-67-140
(tied) Jeff Panek 70-70-140
4. Mike Slavin 72-69-141
(tied) Justin Schulte 68-73-141
(tied) Cory Braunschweig
7. Blake Waller 68-74-142
(tied) Colin Pearson 73-69-142
9. Andrew Huseman 69-174-143
10. Tanner Ludwig 70-74-144
(tied) Matt Gatchell 73-71-144
(tied) Patrick Hall 72-72-144
(tied) Michael Wetrich 71-73-144
14. Lucas Peed 72-73-145
15. Matthew Kristensen 73-73-146
(tied) Ryan Kinseth 74-72-146
(tied) Kyler Ludwig 73-73-146
18. Connor Peck 72-75-147
(tied) Matt Ohl 71-76-147
(tied) Tyler Smith 71-76-147
(tied) Tyler Christians 74-73-147
(tied) Nate Schill 70-77-147
(tied) Matt Mickelson 73-74-147
24. Luke Monson 79-69-148
(tied) Matt Gute 75-73-148
(tied) Neil Doak 74-74-148
27. Austin Morrow 75-74-149
(tied) Griffin Mathias 74-75-149
(tied) Kevin Ault 73-76-149
(tied) Chad Wood 72-77-149
(tied) Ethan Meehling 77-72-149
32. Luke Essing 74-76-150
(tied) Nick Johnson 76-74-150
34. Ron Schrimper 75-76-151
(tied) Braxton Risetter 74-77-151
36. Collin Hackett 75-77-152
1. Joel Yunek 70-70-140
2. Dave Sergeant 70-71-141
3. Jim Currell 73-69-142
4. Bill Manske 73-70-143
5. Todd Hingtgen 72-75-147
(tied) Ned Palmer 76-71-147
7. Sam Aossey 74-75-149
(tied) Andy Burton 78-71-149
(tied) Phil Joselyn 74-75-149
10. Ron Peterson 71-79-150
(tied) Tom Sandie 71-79-150
12. Tom Kristensen 78-73-151
(tied) Tom Schill 76-75-151
(tied) Steve Larson 76-75-151
15. Bruce Grenier 80-72-152
(tied) Dave Hanson 76-76-152
(tied) Tony Malizia 78-74-152
(tied) Tim Taylor 74-78-152
"The conditions were fine. It rained on us a little, but nothing more than something annoying," said Panek, who resides in Urbandale. "I probably got a little lucky at times, but I got good help from my caddie, who directed a few of my shots. Anytime you shoot under par, you have to be happy."
Grand View University golfer Mike Slavin, Urbandale's Justin Schulte and former two-time FD Am winner and ex-Dodger all-stater Cory Braunschweig are all knotted for third at 141. Recent FDSH graduate and 2011 FD city champion Colin Pearson and Iowa State team member Blake Waller are each seven shots off the pace. Fort Dodge graduate and former Lakeside Course manager Kevin Ault, a two-time defending FD Am open division title-holder, is tied for 11th with four others at 149. A total of seven golfers broke par in the open division for a second consecutive day.
"The greens were firm, and I thought I was playing tough," the ex-West Des Moines Dowling standout Waller said. "I was just trying to have some fun and wanted to get paired (today) with (Kesterson)."
Seeking his fourth consecutive FD Am senior crown, Fort Dodge's Dave Sergeant (141) is right behind Joel Yunek (140) of Mason City. Sergeant, who registered a second-round tally of 71, notched two birdies - at 8 and 15 - with bogeys on 3 and 11. Yunek birdied 7, 9 and 15, with bogeys on 10 and 13 for a second-round 70. Between the two of them, Sergeant and Yunek have captured six of the last 12 FD Am senior trophies, with Sergeant prevailing in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2010. Yunek earned gold in 2004 and 2005.
Boone's 2012 senior match play king Jim Currell (142) and last summer's FD AM senior champion Bill Manske (143) of Algona remain well within striking distance of the top spot.
Nevada's Bob Hattery also achieved a rare hole-in-one on the par-three No. 8 hole. Ironically, Hattery's playing partner Randy Studer from West Des Moines previously pulled off a hole-in-one in senior match play earlier this year.
The top 36 players - with ties - made the cut for today's championship flight on the open side, with 16 seniors also advancing.
Tee times start at 7:30 a.m. this morning. Kesterson, Allison, Panek and Braunschweig will open play at 8:50 a.m. on hole No. 1. Sergeant, Yunek, Currell and Manske will begin at 9:10 a.m. on No. 10.
Temperatures are expected to reach 90 degrees this afternoon, with winds under 10 miles per hour.