Golf: Pierz's Bell scheduled to play in Lakes Area Showcase

Pierz High School graduate Robert Bell is scheduled to be among the pros golfing in the first Dondelinger Brainerd Lakes Area Tour Showcase Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Cragun's Legacy Courses. Bell, 29, turned pro in July 2014 after winning four lette...

Robert Bell
Robert Bell


Pierz High School graduate Robert Bell is scheduled to be among the pros golfing in the first Dondelinger Brainerd Lakes Area Tour Showcase Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Cragun's Legacy Courses.

Bell, 29, turned pro in July 2014 after winning four letters with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, for whom he posted a 76.08 career stroke average. He appeared in 26 tournaments in his Gophers career and a total of 78 rounds. He shot a career-low round 68 and a career-low 54-hole score of 212 at the 2013 U.S. Intercollegiate. His fifth-place tie at the 2011 Fighting Irish Classic was the best finish of his collegiate career.

At Pierz, Bell earned five letters in golf and two in basketball. He won the 2008 Class 2A state championship and was runner-up in 2007. Bell won three Central Minnesota Conference titles and was a two-time all-state golfer. He was named to the All-CMC team five times. Bell holds school records for best finish in a state golf tournament and the best 18-hole score (66).

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Dondelinger Brainerd Lakes Area Tour Showcase

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Bell was the Minnesota Junior Player of the Year in 2007 and 2008, the State Junior Boys champion in 2008 and the State Junior PGA champion in 2008.

Opening ceremonies at 11 a.m. Wednesday will include a color guard, national anthem and 95-year-old Bud Chapman teeing off as the honorary starter. Chapman, a Minneapolis resident, is a Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame member.

Nearly 150 golfers have registered to play in the event, which will benefit Mount Ski Gull. Golfers include celebrities like former NFL kicker and Super Bowl champion Chip Lohmiller, Dave Mona of the WCCO Radio's Sid and Dave Show, former NHL defenseman and Stanley Cup champion Shawn Chambers and lakes area fishing guides Gary Roach, Tony Roach, Steve Carney, Bruce Sanders and Doug Sanders. Teams will consist of one pro and four amateurs and a winning team will be determined.

The objective of the Showcase, which is a pro-am event featuring future Tour players, is to eventually secure a PGA tour event in the lakes area.

The Tour is the developmental tour for the PGA Tour and features professional golfers who have either not yet reached the PGA Tour or who have done so but have failed to win enough FedEx Cup points to stay at that level. Golfers who are on the top 25 of the money list at year's end receive PGA Tour memberships for the next season.

Since the 2013 season, the Tour has been the primary pathway for those seeking to earn their PGA Tour card. Q-School, previously the primary route for qualification to the PGA Tour, has been converted as an entryway to the tour. Other pros tentatively scheduled to play:


Neil Johnson

The graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College earned All-America, Academic All-America, all-conference and all-district honors four times and was part of the 2004 NCAA Division III National Championship team. Johnson was the 2005 Wisconsin Player of the Year in his final year as an amateur. His pro journey has been a trip through a variety of mini-tours across the U.S. and a year on PGA Tour Canada. He earned his Tour card via Q-school in the fall of 2013.

Andre Metzger

Metzger has made numerous PGA Tour starts this year including the BMW Charity Pro-Am and Pinnacle Bank Championship.

Patrick Stolpe

A native of Muskego, Wis., Stolpe won his first professional tournament in the Dakotas Tour at the Fargo Country Club. He previously played on the Tour. He drives the ball 330 yards.

Kevin Stanek

Stanek is a qualifier from the Omaha area. He won the Pinnacle Bank Championship and was a three-time champion of the Nebraska Match Play Championship (2016-18).


Sam Engel

Engel was a two-time Academic All-American at Cal State-Northridge. He turned pro in 2017.

Alex Kline

After playing two years of Division I golf at the University of South Dakota, Kline transferred to Grand Canyon University to pursue his dream of playing on the PGA Tour. He has played on the Dakotas Tour and the North Star Professional Golf Tour.

Donald Constable

Constable is a partial Tour player in 2018. He's a former Minnesota State Amateur champion and a 2012 University of Minnesota graduate.

Sam Frank

The Roseville resident graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He turned pro in May 2016 and participated in the Web.Com Q-School process. He's competing in Dakota's Tour and in qualifying events.

Josh Esler

Esler, who played on the Tour in 2016 and 2017, is from the University of Arizona.

Hudson Carpenter

Carpenter turned pro in 2015. He was the 2016 North Star Tour Player of the Year. In 2016, he was champion of the North Star Prep Shootout, the Bobcat North Dakota Open and North Star Open. He currently plays on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada.

Devon Johnson

The Eden Prairie resident tied for 12th in the Twin Cities Championship. He's the assistant golf coach at Bethel University in Arden Hills.

Sam Matthews

Matthews is a current Mckenzie Tour and Tour player. He went pro in 2016 after finishing his degree at the University of South Dakota, where he earned numerous all-conference awards.

Jack Gustafson

Gustafson was a Division I baseball player at Xavier who turned pro in golf. The Glenwood resident finished third overall in 2017 on the Dakota Tour. His 125 mph clubhead speed delivers 300-yard carry with his driver.

Matt Rachey

Rachey played four years with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. He won the 2013 Big Ten Championship and graduated in 2017. He was a U.S. Junior Amateur qualifier in 2012 and a U.S. Open Sectional qualifier this year.

Julian Ramirez

The fourth-year pro out of Medina Golf and Country Club has won 14 professional events. He was the CVGA Player of the Year in 2014, Minnesota Assistant Pro of the Year in 2015 and won nine pro events in 2016. He has earned a check in 30 straight events.

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