STATE GOLF: MCC teams, area individuals begin Class A Tournament

Photo by Jenny Kirk MCC’s Tyler Groves hits an approach shot during the Class A Tournament on Tuesday in Becker.

BECKER ― As Day 1 of the Class A State Golf Meet on Tuesday at Pebble Creek Golf Club is in the books, area athletes took note of their performances and look to finish out strong today in the final round of competition.

On the boys side, Minneota’s Nolan Boerboom and Dawson-Boyd’s Tyler Lund are in a four-way tie for fourth place after carding 75s.

“I played pretty well,” Lund said. “It was weird front-nine. I just didn’t hit the ball real great, but I sank some longer putts. I found a way to get the ball in the hole. That helped.”

Bethlehem Academy’s Khrystjan Petersen is currently in first place after firing a 68. He is followed by Sleepy Eye United’s Ben Laffen (71) and Heritage Christian Academy’s Kurt Lambert (74).

“I made a double on 6 after chipping in on 5, but I finished with 3-par, so that was good,” Lund said. “I had to get up and down a few times from some weird lies, but overall, made it happen. I’m happy with where I’m at. I think I’m within striking distance, but you just never know.”

Lund collected a fourth-place team medal as a freshman, but he has been kept out of the top eight as an individual the past two years. He’d like to change that in his final year at state.

“My main goal was to win the conference and I managed to do that,” he said. “Another goal was to win the section and I ended up runner-up. Now at state, I have another goal and that’s to medal. I’m in a good spot for that. I’m just going to enjoy the round (today). It’s my last round in high school.”

Murray County Central’s Tyler Groves shot a 78 and is in a four-way tie for 13th place. As a team, the Rebels are in seventh place after recording a combined total of 365. Sleepy Eye United and Mounds Park Academy are in a first-place tie in the team competition (325), followed by North Woods (328), Ottertail Central Bulldogs (336), Lac qui Parle Valley (342) and Fertile-Beltrami (353). Kingsland is in eighth place with 383.

Lakeview’s Jarrett Geihl carded a 79 and is tied for 17th place. Canby’s Jake Wagner shot an 81 and is tied for 23rd place.

“I hit 11 greens and 14 fairways, I think,” Wagner said. “That was pretty awesome.”

This year marks the first trip for the soon-to-be sophomore.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Wagner said. “It’s super-nice to be up here.”

Despite being a first-year competitor at the state level, Wagner said he was able to settle in and play his game pretty well.

“There were some nerves for the first hole, but after the first tee shot I was fine,” he said. “Now (today) I want to shoot right around the same. I was pleased with how I played (Tuesday).”

Westbrook-Walnut Grove’s Andrew Quade sits in a tie for 43r place after coming in with an 87 for the day.

MCC’s Jack Pierson shot a 93 and is inn a tie for 62nd place after Day 1. Teammate Dawson Tutt shot a 95 and is in a tie for 67th place, while Rebel golfer Cole Ahlers is in 74th place after firing a 99.

Wabasso’s Jacob Iverson carded a 100 and is currently tied for 77th place.

Class A Girls

MCC’s Abby Hamman put herself in a solid position to earn a medal after firing a 78 on Tuesday. Hamman is tied for third place with Fillmore Central’s Grace Miller. Park Christian’s Emily Doeden and LQPV’s Rachel Halvorson finished in the lead after Day 1 after shooting a 76s.

“My round went pretty good,” Hamman said. “I shot a 41-37. The back nine went really well for me.”

Hamman said she feels being at state last year has helped her this year.

“It helps that I know the course a little bit,” she said. “(Monday), we didn’t get a practice round in because of the rain (so first-time competitors didn’t get a feel for the course).”

Hamman said she struggled finding a club to hit at 150 yards out, but feels confident going into the final round of competition, both individually and as a team.

“This is our team’s first time coming to state,” Hamman said. “Right now, we’re in sixth place and that’s really good for us. But we’d like to finish in the top 5.”

As a team, the Rebels shot a combined total of 389. Paige Behrends carded a 101 and is currently in 48th place individually.

“I got a 101, shooting a 52 and a 49,” Behrends said. “My fairway shots and drives were good, but once I got to the green, it all went downhill. That’s where I got my strokes. The greens are fast and they’re big, too, so I need to keep practicing chipping and putting.”

Despite being a newcomer at state, Behrends hasn’t let the challenge bring her down.

“I like playing a course I’ve never played before,” she said. “It’s a new challenge and you can expect new things. At sections, I shot a 214, so I just want to get lower than that and top 5 for team.”

MCC’s Amber Boock is in a tie for 51st place after shooting a 102. Teammate Vanessa Dahlgren recorded a 108, followed by Cierra Tutt (109) and Kylie Frisk (123).

Hendricks golfer Kylee Johnson fired an 89 and is currently in a tie for 17th place.

Lakeview’s Sirada Chitthong carded a 95 and is tied for 29th place.

“My chipping and my short game was horrible,” Chitthong said. “I usually do a lot better than this. I had a lot of anxiety, though. I think it was because I was with a lot of really good people.”

Chitthong is optimistic about improving her golf game today.

“It will be a lot more easy going (today) because I won’t be in a leader group,” she said. “It’s hard, but I hope I can do better. My goal is to shoot in the 70s.”

Canby’s Abi Morris is in a tie for 45th place after coming in with a score of 100.

Hendrick’s Sophie Johnson is in 66th place after finishing the round with a 107.

“It was good for this course,” Johnson said. “There were some bad holes for sure, but I was able to keep going. I shot right around my average, so that’s good for this course.”

As a first-year state golf competitor, Johnson said she didn’t really know what to expect.

“I thought I wasn’t going to be nervous, but then I got up the first tee box and I was shaking,” she said. “The first hole was pretty rough. But once I got going, it was fun.”

Johnson said she feels like the first hole might trip her up again, but that she’s ready to make improvements for the final round.

“I want to shoot under 100 for sure,” Johnson said. “I know there’s a lot of strokes I can drop. That’s my goal. I didn’t putt very well. But also staying out of the trees will help (today). It should also help just getting used to the course ― knowing what shots to hit and where not to go.”