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State Class AAA boys' golf: Cardinals are sixth

The Alexandria boys' golf team accomplished what it set out to do going into day two of the Class 3A state golf tournament at Bunker Hills on Wednesday.

The Cardinals shot a 315 on day one and simply wanted to go lower than that in their final round of the season. They did that, shooting a 311 to finish sixth overall with a team score of 626.

"[Tuesday], we kind of had our game faces on and thought if we put good rounds together we could be in the running," sophomore Cole Haugen said. "But after the first day, we just kind of said go for the pins and have fun. Enjoy the experience."

They ultimately did that as four players finished in the 70s on day two. Senior Nick Brundell shot a 75 and finished tied for 15th overall with his 152. Lukas Bigger carded a 78 on Wednesday, while Kyle Blank and Haugen each shot 79s.

They played two holes early in the morning before having to wait through a rain delay. They got started again at 11:10 but played through a downpour during their first few holes back on the course. It was only fitting during a spring that has thrown plenty of challenges at golfers.

"It's pretty tough, but we've been doing it all year," Brundell said of trying to block out the rain. "We haven't really seen the sun at a golf meet this year, so we've gotten used to it. We overcame it, and we shot better than we did yesterday."

Brundell came into the tournament wanting to have fun and hopefully end up near the top of the leaderboard in the final meet of his career. He felt he could have gone lower than his score of 77 on Tuesday but said his driver wasn't consistent enough on either day.

"It was a good season," Brundell said. "I felt like I could have done better [Tuesday], but that's how golf works. It's up and down. I was pretty happy. It's been a great season, a great career."

Wednesday's round also marked the end of the careers for Brady Hafdal and Blank. Hafdal finished tied for 43rd with a two-day score of 160 after shooting an 81 on day two. Blank carded a 164 over two days, good for 60th.

Haugen was Alexandria's second lowest scorer overall with a 157 that earned him a tie for 34th. He had a hiccup on the front nine on Wednesday with a triple bogey. That proved to be a little difficult to overcome before he settled in again.

"That kind of got in my head right away," Haugen said. "But after that, I just decided I was going to relax and have fun and just see where it went."

Haugen is one of three guys on this team who will be back next season hoping to lead the Cardinals back to the state meet. Bigger is another. He shot a 159 over the two days and finished tied for 40th. Sophomore Aaron Johnson rounded out Alexandria's roster with a 173. This experience at state could be beneficial for this group with two years left to play for each of them.

"It's a very big help," Haugen said. "Hopefully, we come back next year and we'll be not as nervous. We'll know the course better, what to do and not to do. I guess the mental game is the biggest part, so that should help us a lot."


TEAM RESULTS - 1. Eden Prairie - 608; 2. Wayzata - 610; 3. Forest Lake - 618; 4. Hastings - 623; 5. Lakeville North - 624; 6. Alexandria - 626; 7. White Bear Lake - 631; 8. Rogers - 641

ALEXANDRIA SCORES - Bigger - 40th, 81, 78, 159; Blank - 60th, 85, 79, 164; Brundell - 15th; 77, 75, 152; Hafdal - 43rd, 79, 81, 160; Haugen - 34th, 78, 79 - 157; Johnson - 84th, 83, 90 - 173

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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