What a difference a drive makes.
Leaving sunny Alexandria Thursday afternoon, the Cardinal boys' golf team headed 70-miles south to Eagle Trace Golf Club in Clearwater for a Central Lakes Conference meet hosted by St. Cloud Apollo.
"We arrived to a course no one has ever seen, let alone played, and it was overcast, about 50 degrees and dropping, and a fresh breeze from the north," said head coach Rick Larson. "Some of the guys were not prepared for the conditions, so I wasn't too positive about how they might play. But, they came to play."
Shooting a 2-over-par 71, Alexandria sophomore Lukas Bigger picked up medalist honors, propelling the Cardinals to a seven-stroke victory over Willmar.
Bigger was closely followed by sophomore Cole Haugen, whose 73 landed him in second place.
"After their less than average performance on Monday, the guys rebounded with an excellent outing, vaulting us from fifth in the CLC to one point out of the lead with two meets to go," said the coach. "Lukas' 27 putts gained him medalist honors. Cole [playing in a coat borrowed from the coach] continues to play solid golf, and his 73 is his lowest score in a meet."
Nick Brundell and Kyle Blank tied with rounds of 83, Nic Hanson was one stroke back at 84 and Brady Hafdal rounded out the scoring with an 87.
Nick [playing in another coat borrowed from the coach] had one bad hole and has not hit his playing level of last year," he added. "I still think it will happen soon.
"Kyle hit a point [where] he could not get rid of the hooks, but righted the ship with three to play to grind out his 83. Nic had one real bad hole also and posted his best score of the season.
"Brady never got into rhythm on the first-time seen course," said Larson.
CONFERENCE BOYS' GOLF
AT ST. CLOUD APOLLO
TEAM SCORES - 1. Alexandria 310, 2. Willmar 317, 3. Fergus Falls 318, 4. St. Cloud Tech 322, 5. Brainerd 329, 6. Rocori 346, 7. Sauk Rapids 349, 8. Sartell 358, 9. St. Cloud Apollo 361.
MEDALIST - Lukas Bigger, Alexandria, 71.
ALEXANDRIA SCORES - 1. Bigger 71, 2. Cole Haugen 73, Nick Brundell 83, Kyle Blank 83, Nick Hanson 84, Brady Hafdal 87.
(after 2 meets)
1. Willmar and St. Cloud Tech 15, 3. Alexandria 14, 4. Fergus Falls 13, 5. Sartell 10, 6. Brainerd and Rocori 8, 8. Sauk Rapids 5, 9. St. Cloud Apollo 2.