Card boys' golf: Alexandria battles the best at Tri-State, eighth at Brainerd Invite
The Cardinal boys faced off against teams from Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota as they competed in the elite Tri-State golf tournament at Edinburgh Golf Club in Brooklyn Park Friday and Saturday.
They found themselves finishing 53 strokes off the leader as Wayzata claimed the team title with a 612 and Alexandria closed out the two-day event with a 665.
“This was a great experience for the golf team,” said head coach Rick Larson. “This is one of the most prestigious golf tourneys of the season.
“It is run just like the state tourney and all teams must be invited,” he added. “It also has teams from three states.
“The Tri-State was moved to Edinburgh last year, and we missed it due to a scheduling conflict, so this was our first look at the course.
“The Ladies Pro Golf Association (LPGA) holds a golf tourney here, so it is a very nice golf course.
“As our players found out after day one, that just because it was only 6,383 yards long, it proved to play rather tough,” said Larson. “It is a course designed for shot placement, not length. If you missed the fairways by much, it had many bunkers, water and side hills with thick roughs to challenge the next shot. Drivers should have been used sparingly.
“Add to that, on day two [we had] 40 degrees, a cold 15-mph wind and a steady rain. It became more of a game of mental toughness.
“Nick Brundell had a great tourney and shows why he can play with the best golfers in the state,” said his coach. “His 10th place finish in this field was very good.
“Austin McCulloch and Tanner Gustafson found out how an errant shot can lead to a big number, but both players did grind out their scores.
“For Brady Hafdal and Lukas Bigger, it was a steep learning curve on how to play unfamiliar courses,” he said. “I think they learned that much thinking must go into every shot. When you get away from the friendly confines of your home course, it becomes a game of how to adjust to where you are playing and accepting that you can’t be as aggressive on every shot. Playing smart course management becomes very important. A good learning experience.”
Alexandria will be at Fergus Falls tomorrow, Thursday for an important Central Lakes Conference meet.
“Fergus is leading the CLC and Alexandria by two points,” said Larson. “Going to their course will prove to be a tough task of trying to gain ground on them.”
TRI-STATE TOURNEY AT EDINBURGH
TEAM SCORES – Wayzata 612, Eden Prairie 619, Rogers 627, Lakeville North 635, Detroit Lakes 640, Edina 643, Moorhead 651, Bloomington Jefferson and Hermantown 651, White Bear Lake 659, Forest Lake 663, River Falls, WI 664, Alexandria 665, Elk River 673, Stillwater 678, East Ridge and Osceola, WI 681, Fargo South, ND 689, Eastview 692, Anoka 696.
MEDALIST – Corey Muenzhuber, Rogers, 147.
ALEXANDRIA – 10. Nick Brundell 73-81—154, 66. Austin McCulloch 80-85—165 and Tanner Gustafson 85-84—169, 94. Lukas Bigger 91-87—178, 96. Brady Hafdal 94-86—180.
The Alexandria boys’ golf team finished eighth among a strong field at the Brainerd Invite last Wednesday.
The Cardinals finished with a season-low score of 316 on a day when golfers were greeted by great weather and the scores reflected that. Minnetonka won the event with a 304, while Robbinsdale Armstrong, Chaska and Rogers each shot a 308.
Freshman Lukas Bigger led Alexandria for the second straight meet. He finished with a 75 to finish in the top 10 individually.
“As a 9th grader, Lukas is definitely playing like an upperclassman,” head coach Rick Larson said.
Nick Brundell saw his first varsity action of the season and shot a 78. He overcame a double bogey on the first hole and finished his round with back-to-back birdies.
Austin McCulloch also overcame a slow start after going 7-over through his first five holes. He shot even par over the next 13 to finish with a 79. Tanner Gustafson rounded out the Cardinal scorers with an 84.
Fergus Falls finished two spots ahead of Alexandria among Central Lakes Conference competitors. The Otters lead the league after two meets with just two points separating the top three teams in Fergus, Brainerd and Alexandria.
TEAM RESULTS – Minnetonka – 304; Robbinsdale Armstrong – 308; Chaska – 308; Rogers – 308; Edina – 310; Fergus Falls – 313; Moundsview – 313; Alexandria – 316; Bemidji – 318; Brainerd – 320; Staples – 322; Willmar – 332; St. Cloud Tech – 333; Sartell – 340; Becker – 344; Sauk Rapids – 347; Pequot Lakes – 349; Rocori – 359; Apollo – 394
ALEXANDRIA SCORES – Bigger – 75; Brundell – 78; McCulloch – 79; Gustafson – 84; Kyle Blank – 89; Brady Hafdal – 89