The Marshall boys golf team is jostling with a familiar foe on a familiar course for top honors at a two-day tournament in Jordan.
The Tigers sit in second place in the seven-team event, seven strokes back of Detroit Lakes, which posted a score of 311 Friday at The Ridges at Sand Creek. The two teams finished 1-2 at last year's Class AA state tournament in Jordan, where Detroit Lakes edged Marshall by just two strokes.
Marshall coach Allen Lucht said the Tigers and Lakers are well clear of the other five Class AA teams at the tournament and he feels confident that his golfers are capable of making up the difference with Detroit Lakes during today's final round.
"Experience-wise, they get the flavor of it and they've sipped the tea," Lucht said of his golfers. "The kids have played the course enough that they should be able to play pretty solid tomorrow and I think they'll do well."
Detroit Lakes' Karter Smith, who finished in a tie for second as an individual at last year's state tournament behind Marshall's Max Deutz, shot the low round of the day with a 72. Seniors Deutz and Marcus Holmerg each shot 79 to lead the Tigers, while sophomores Matt Christianson and Brent Haukom each fired a round of 80. Deutz, Holmberg and Haukom each played in last year's state tournament, as did Matt Bennett, who shot an 83 on Friday.
Lucht said his golfers hit the ball pretty well during the opening round, but just couldn't make any putts. He thought Haukom played especially well, but said the sophomore faltered on the final few holes and hit the wrong ball on the 16th hole or else he could have finished with a 77.
Friday, Lucht said the course played long and was a bit soggy from recent rains. He said the forecast is for rain and cool conditions during today's round, and he thinks his golfers will be able to raise their game in adverse conditions.
"I think the guys know they have to shoot around a 306 to put themselves into a position to win," Lucht said. "These are pretty savvy kids and they know what it's going to take to get it done."