SIOUX CITY – Rules are rules and we’re certainly not trying to put any pressure on Green Valley director of golf Scott Harmelink, but here’s lobbying for Adam Fields to receive a special exemption into next month’s Men’s City tournament.
Fields, a Sioux City native and Bishop Heelan graduate, has been nothing short of spectacular this season. A dramatic chip-in on the 45th hole Sunday gave the 30-year-old Pottawattamie County sheriff’s deputy his third victory in as many Sioux City “major” tournaments.
The former Wayne State College standout began his unprecedented streak with a win in the Tri-State Masters in May. Remember, that’s a tournament played on three different courses – Dakota Dunes, Covington Links, Green Valley – in three separate states.
That completed a career grand slam, so to speak, for Fields, who already owned past triumphs in the Interstate, River-Cade and Men’s City. He wasn’t nearly finished there, however.
In early June, Fields bested Morningside College golfer Cody Holck in sudden death to claim his second Interstate Amateur triumph in three years and captured his fourth River-Cade Amateur win last weekend.
In case you’re counting, that makes eight major victories for the kid who I used to see as a pre-teen playing round after round at Green Valley. I guess all of that practice has paid off.
Fields is the first to win the Tri-State, Interstate and River-Cade in succession but Nick Wanderscheid, my partner in the popular Journal podcase Golf Talk with Wander and Poe, won three in a row in 1998. Back then, there was no Tri-State and the order of events was Interstate, Men’s City and River-Cade.
Fields and Corey Matthey, the two-time reigning Sioux City Journal Siouxland Player of the Year, were deadlocked heading to the final hole Sunday at Green Valley. Fields pulled his tee shot left and wound up with a nasty side-hill lie, while Matthey bombed one over the fairway bunker to within 100 yards of the green.
Despite an awkward stance, Fields pulled off a fine shot to even get close to the putting surface, but he still “shortsided” himself on the fringe. Matthey, meanwhile, hit his second shot to around 15 feet for birdie.
Facing improbable odds, Fields hit a perfect chip to a pin that was not that far away from where his ball lied. It landed on the green and with precise speed directly into the cup. That produced a well-deserved fist pump from Fields and a spattering of polite golf applause from the gallery that gathered on a hot and steamy day.
Matthey still had a chance to force a playoff and hit a very nice putt that was right on line, but came up short of the hole.
“I was definitely not trying to make that,” Fields said. “But I nipped it just perfect and once it got about four or five feet I was like, ‘just fall,’ because anything can happen in a playoff and that’s where I thought it was heading.”
But it didn’t and Fields made it three straight without a chance to go for a season sweep of majors. A longstanding rule prohibits players not living or attending college in Sioux City to participate in the Men’s City.
It is indeed a good rule and one that has stood the test of time despite what I’m pretty sure are a number of requests in the past from non-residents who would have liked to have played.
This, though, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a guy to win all four of our major tournaments in the same season.
With his schedule, Fields may not be able to play in the city on August 11-12, but I would be willing to bet his bosses would make an exception if he was granted the opportunity.
Scott Harmelink is a close friend of mine and I’m not suggesting he shouldn’t stick to his guns and not let Fields into the city tournament field. It would no doubt open up the proverbial “can of worms” if he did, but it is something for Harmelink to ponder.
Why prevent a shot at history?