2011 Bobcat ND State Open Champion Tim Alles
Tim Ailes knows better than to golf against other players. He’s the first to admit who the real competition is, but it was hard not to notice a trio of hard chargers heading into the 54th hole of the 2011 Bobcat North Dakota State Open.
Ailes couldn’t help but keep an eye on the leaderboard with a slim two-shot lead and a strong push by Josh Persons, who carded seven birdies and an eagle in the final round.
When Ailes finally tapped in for 68, he became a two-time champion, pocketing $10,000 plus a $4,500 sponsorship from Bobcat for PGA Tour qualifying school.
“The weird thing about golf is you’re not competing against any human, you’re always competing against the course. When you get that mind frame, you tend to play better; but it’s hard to do when somebody’s making birdies,” Ailes says.
By focusing on the course, the Lewis Center, Ohio, native has found success on the Dakota Tour, but has made some extra notes about strategy for the challenges that await him at the Fargo Country Club.
“It’s a position-type course. It’s very tree-lined, so you want to stay out of the big pines. You like to lay back some holes, not hit the driver, but really position yourself and think your way around it,” Ailes says.
At 39, Ailes is in his 13th — and perhaps strongest — year as a professional. He made the cut in all 16 tournaments last year, and took his game to a new level this spring, just missing U.S. Open qualification by one shot.
Ailes is looking forward to making a run at a third consecutive title in Fargo, and hopes 2012 will find him on the Nationwide Tour or scoring a PGA Tour invite. “That’s the goal. I’m going to keep at it as long as my body holds up and my wife says I can do it,” Ailes adds.