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Holland has heck of a big weekend

Connor Holland of West Fargo watches his tee shot at the Detroit Country Club during his Pine to Palm match last weekend. Brian Basham / Forum Communications Co.

This spring, Connor Holland tied for fourth place at the North Dakota Class A state golf tournament, helping the Packers to a third-place finish in the process.

Last week, Holland managed to one-up that in a big way by taking first place at the Pine to Palm golf tournament at Detroit Lakes (Minn.) Country Club.

Holland, an incoming senior at West Fargo High School, claimed the 79th championship of the tournament, and became just the third 17-year-old to do so. The others were Chris Perry in 1979 and Don Carman in 1936.

"This is for sure my biggest win of my life," Holland told the Detroit Lakes Tribune.

Holland bested University of North Dakota's Alex Robb to get the title. The two battled until Hole 16, when Robb conceded after his hit from a bunker fell short of the green.

Getting to the championship was a battle in and of itself. Holland finished his qualifying rounds with a 77-67-144 Friday, and beat Matt Parker in the opening round 3 and 2, and Tyler Rustad 4 and 2.

Holland then won his Saturday morning Sweet 16 match against Perham's Bob Cavanagh 5 and 4, and played well into his quarterfinal match with a 4 and 2 win over Eden Prairie's Sam Palmisano.

Holland's only hiccup came against James Niles of Mesa, Ariz. During a Sunday morning semifinal match, Holland found himself down for the first time in the tournament as Niles built a 3-up lead by the turn.

But Holland rallied on the back nine before making a 20-foot putt for the birdie and the victory on the 18th hole.