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The Shawnee News-Star
  • 53rd Elks Invitational tees off Saturday

  • Former champions Dax Clark, Chris Wilson and Justin Ramer are among those in the field for the 2013 Elks Invitational at Shawnee’s Elks Golf Course.
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  • Former champions Dax Clark, Chris Wilson and Justin Ramer are among those in the field for the 2013 Elks Invitational at Shawnee’s Elks Golf Course.
     
    The tournament begins at 8 a.m. Saturday with F flight, and the championship flight will tee off at 1:20 p.m.
     
    This is the 53rd edition of the Elks Invitational.
     
    Wilson, a Shawnee product, serves as the assistant men’s golf coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. He is the defending champion of the Elks Invitational, and is a five-time champion overall.
     
    Wilson forged a day-one four-under 68 in the 2012 tourney, and completed the 54-hole format with a 10-under 206.
     
    Of the 22 members of the 2012 championship flight, Wilson was the only entrant to forge two rounds of under 70 points.
     
    Runner-up Ben Coffee, who will also compete in this year’s event, finished the 2012 run at 215. He was the only other member of the flight to have at least one round of under 70 points last year.
     
    Wilson’s run at the 2012 title included seven birdies on the final day — on holes 1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 16 and 17.
     
    “I played pretty solid every day,” Wilson said after winning in 2012. “I hit a lot of really good iron shots. My wedges were really good and I hit close to the flag a lot.”
     
    Wilson was up by seven strokes over his closest pursuer after 36 holes.
     
    Joel Driver, also from Shawnee, was third after the 2012 invitational. Driver finished with a 217, 11 strokes out of the lead, with a third-day score of 71.
     
    Pat Collogan was fourth in 2012 at 219.
     
    Driver and Collogan are not in the 2013 field.
     
    Ramer is the 2005, 2009 and 2010 champion, and he finished the 2012 tourney with rounds of 76, 77 and 78 for a 231.
     
    Clark finished at 237 with rounds of 71, 83 and 83.
     
    Other members of the 2013 championship flight are Sam Patton, Mark Balenseifen, Mike Blizzard, Pete Penka, Brant Gear, Mike Cook, Ron Grinnell, Greg Anderson, Robby Komahcheet III, Chad Lawrence, Quintin Nichols, Aaron Stepp, Ralph Shaw Jr., Ernest Willis, Blade Knox, Jerod Niles, Shawn Ramsey and Tyler Hargus.
     
    Wilson’s Elks titles came in 2001, 2003, 2008, 2011 and 2012.
     
    The tournament will continue Sunday and conclude Monday, with 18 holes played each day.
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