<HR><CENTER><B>Serie edges Norman<br> in three-hole playoff</B></CENTER>
By John Rittenhouse
Two Luverne Country Club heavyweights produced one of the most exciting finishes ever to a Men's Club Tournament Sunday.
Dan Serie and Cory Norman, who won a combined four club titles in the 1990s, ended 36 holes of regulation play in the championship flight with identical 152-stroke efforts.
After the sun already had set in the west, Serie ended what turned into a three-hole playoff with a title-clinching par on the LCC's third hole.
The win gave Serie his second Club Tournament championship. He has placed second or third in the event more times than he cares to remember, but this was his first title since he edged Bob Jarchow and Dick Iveland by two strokes to win the 1991 crown.
As much as Serie enjoyed the victory, topping Norman in a playoff was not a perfect script for the champion to follow.
"We're partners in the Thursday Afternoon League," Serie said of Norman, who are good friends on and off the course. "Right before we teed off in the playoff, we both agreed that it's too bad someone will have to lose. If I would have played well and Cory would have won, that would have been great. I'm pretty sure Cory felt the same way."
Unfortunately for Norman, who played his way to club titles in 1995, 1996 and 1998, fate was in Serie's corner late Sunday evening.
Both men had their chances to win the event during the first two playoff holes, but it was Serie who got the job done on the third extra hole.
The playoff started on the LCC's par-4 first hole, and the pressure of the situation may have led to both players recording bogeys.
After good drives, Serie sent his approach shot into the tall grass on the back side of the green, while Norman's second shot was short of the green. After Norman hit a nice chip that came to rest 12 feet under the pin, Serie hit a short chip that barely made it on the top side of the green, leading to a two-putt bogey. When Norman's 12-foot attempt missed the cup by inches, he tapped in for a bogey.
Serie started the second playoff hole (par-five second hole) with an outstanding drive. Norman, on the other hand, miss-hit his tee shot, causing the ball to roll 140 yards off the box, where it came to rest in the rough on the left side of the fairway.
Norman's second shot landed behind a tree on the right side of the fairway, and after Serie drilled a seven-iron shot that came to rest on the right side of the green, Norman opted to chip onto the fairway with his third shot before sticking his fourth effort 12 feet behind the pin.