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Tanner Gustafson carded a round of 92 during Alexandria's final Central Lakes Conference golf meet Tuesday as the Redbird boys finished second overall in the CLC standings. (Echo Press photo by Eric Morken)

Card boys' golf: Alexandria finishes second in CLC standings

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FINAL CLC STANDINGS

Brainerd won the Central Lakes Conference team championship with 56 points, followed by Alexandria at 52 and Fergus Falls at 47.

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Rounding out the field were St. Cloud Tech with 42 points, Willmar 41, Sartell 31, Sauk Rapids 22, Rocori 17, St. Cloud Apollo 7.

Earning CLC All-Conference honors for the Cardinals were Nick Brundell, second in the CLC standings, Lukas Bigger, third, and Austin McCulloch, seventh.

The Central Lakes Conference boys' golf championship came down to the final meet of the season, and, unfortunately, it didn't end in Alexandria's favor.

"With three points separating the top three teams, and Alex in third place going into this meet, we knew several things had to happen," said Cardinal head coach Rick Larson. "One of them did happen, with Fergus Falls struggling in the windy conditions and finishing in the middle of the pack.

"But the second thing that needed to happen did not," he said of his squad's second place finish. "It was a valiant effort by the team, but placing second to Brainerd today allowed Brainerd to win the CLC. We did move up to second, but the players were thinking bigger."

The Cardinals were so close to picking up the win as Brainerd edge Alexandria by three strokes 317-320.

"Only four team strokes kept us from becoming CLC champs," said Larson. "Every player can think back to their round and know that there was at least a couple places where a better decision or better shot or putt could have saved a stroke or two. But then again, that is golf."

The Cardinals did put forth a valiant effort, with junior Nick Brundell earning medalist honors as he carded a 1-over-par 73, while senior Austin McCulloch added a 79.

"Nick had one of his better rounds of the season, which included a double bogey and an eagle," said Larson. "Austin had a solid round as he has done all season, and finished in the 70s."

Freshman Lukas Bigger came in with an 83, junior Brady Hafdal an 85, junior Nic Hanson an 86 and senior Tanner Gustafson a 92.

"Lukas had it going, three over through 12 holes, but could not finish the round," noted his coach. "Brady had two double bogeys and several bogeys for his round, and Tanner just plain struggled all day. His driver got him into trouble early and he never really recovered."

The Cardinals finished second in the final Central Lakes Conference standings, with Brundell, Bigger and McCulloch earning CLC All-Conference honors as they finished 2-3-7 in the standings.

"Up next is the 8AAA section meet at GreyStone Monday and Tuesday [June 4-5] of next week," said Larson. "If everything comes together, we will be in the hunt."

CENTRAL LAKES CONFERENCE BOYS' GOLF

AT ROCORI MAY 29

TEAM SCORES - 1. Brainerd 317, 2. Alexandria 320, 3. Sartell 324, 4. Willmar 326, 5. St. Cloud Tech 330, 6. Fergus Falls 334, 7. Sauk Rapids 348, 8. Rocori 351, 9. St. Cloud Apollo 378.

MEDALIST - Nick Brundell, Alex, 73.

ALEXANDRIA SCORES - Brundell 73, Austin McCulloch 79, Lukas Bigger 83, Brady Hafdal 85, Nic Hanson 86, Tanner Gustafson 92.

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