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West Central Area's Matt Wagner, who was the Section 6A champion this year, finished 14th at the State Class A boys' golf meet last week. (Contributed photo)

State Class A boys' golf: WCA's Wagner 14th, Osakis' Hartmann 49th

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Silverstreaks Alexandria, 56308
Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
P.O. Box 549
56308

West Central Area's Matt Wagner finished 14th out of 88 golfers after a strong second day at the Class A state golf tournament last week.

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Wagner found himself in 28th place after day one last Tuesday. He responded with a 78 on Wednesday to move up 14 spots in the individual standings.

"Matt really played well on Wednesday," head coach Kraig Hunter said. "He got hot with his driver, which put him in good positions to score. He also putted well, including a couple of clutch putts to save pars."

Wagner played well through 14 holes on Tuesday before going 5-over his last four holes. Double bogeys on Nos. 17 and 18 sent him into the clubhouse on a down note, but he didn't let it affect him less than 24 hours later.

"To Matt's credit, he came out with a great attitude on Wednesday and fired a 78 in rainy conditions, which helped him gain on the field," Hunter said.

Wagner will leave the West Central Area golf team with a lot of accomplishments to his name. He became a two-time state tournament participant this year, was a six-time varsity letter winner, a two-time all-conference athlete and an individual subsection champion. He was also a part of two team subsection championships.

"More importantly, West Central Area and our communities can be very proud for the type of person he is and how he represented our school," Hunter said. "Matt is nothing but a class act and top notch person. He was a good teammate. He was always good to the younger players and students and he has a calm, disciplined demeanor on the golf course."

HARTMANN 49TH

Osakis' Paul Hartmann has plenty to build upon going into the off-season after taking part in his first Class A state golf tournament at Pebble Creek in Becker.

Hartmann has been steady for the Silverstreaks all spring as a junior and that didn't change in the biggest meet of the season. He finished tied for 49th after shooting a two-day score of 173.

"Paul is a very level-headed young man," head coach Steve Tax said. "If he was nervous, he didn't show it. He looks at it as another round of golf and keeps it in perspective that way."

Hartmann came out last Tuesday and shot a 41 through the first nine holes. He followed that up with a 45 before shooting 42-45 to wrap up the tournament on Wednesday.

"Paul's tee shots were his strength," Tax said. "He had a couple bad drives that cost him some strokes, but overall, that was his strength in the tournament. I thought he putted well also but lipped out a bunch of birdie putts."

It's something to build on going into next spring. Hartmann became just the second player to ever qualify for the state tournament in the Osakis boys' program. He led the team with a nine-hole average of 41.7 through the section tournament and was the CMC medalist. All those things will set the bar even higher as he returns for his senior season next spring.

"Paul has been our leader and captain for the past two years," Tax said. "The guys look up to him. He will get better this summer like he has each summer of his high school career. No doubt he will lead by example."

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