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Alexandria boys' golf: Haugen leads Cards at pre-section

They needed the fifth tiebreaker criteria to do it, but the Cardinal boys' golf team held off Willmar to win the 8AA Pre-section golf meet Saturday at GreyStone Golf Club in Sauk Centre.

"This meet was actually cancelled a week and a half ago because the course thought they we not be ready by May 4," said Cardinal head coach Rick Larson. "In the now normal weird spring we are having, as of last Thursday, the course thought they might be open by May 4.

"So, after many e-mails to coaches, ADs and schools, we were able to get seven of the original 11 schools to make it.

"Of those schools, several did not have their top teams due to proms and other meets they were already in," he added. "In any case, it was a good meet for us as we got a chance to play on the section course.

Leading the way for the Cardinals was sophomore Cole Haugen, whose 76 tied for medalist honors, only losing on a scorecard playoff.

"We had a qualifier last Friday and a couple of new players made it into the line-up and got some good experience at the varsity level," noted Larson.

"Cole fired his best score as a varsity player," said his coach "His 76 is a very good score and will hopefully be a sign of consistent 70s scores this spring."

Lukas Bigger, another sophomore, was just two strokes behind with a 78 and sophomore Aaron Johnson finished the day with an 81.

"Lukas rebounded from last weekend's meet at Edinburgh and posted a 78, very good to see," said Larson. "Aaron got to see his first varsity action and ground out a very good score of 81, which we counted.

"Senior Nick Brundell (82) has not hit his stride as the team's leading scoring average," he said. "Nick has been fighting a bronchial cold for a couple of weeks, which has definitely affected his game, but when he gets going, I know he will be back to team-leading form.

"Kyle Blank, a senior, had a good round going, but had a tough finishing, going seven over on the last six holes. But I think a little more time on the course will help that.

"Brandon Bistodeau, a junior, (88) was also seeing his first varsity action, and I think the nerves may have played a part in his round.

"But as a team, the scores are getting better," said Larson. "For the first time in several years, it is shaping up to be a very competitive section, with five or six teams having a chance."



TEAM SCORES - 1. Alexandria 317 (won on 5th tiebreaker), 2. Willmar 317, 3. St. Cloud Tech 322, 4. Brainerd 324, 5. Buffalo and Sartell 340, 7. Moorhead 363.

MEDALIST - Hunter Mottinger, Wil, 76*; Tony Kallevig, Wil; Ian Hiltner, St. Cloud Tech; and Cole Haugen, Alexandria, 76 (*Mottinger won on tiebreaker).

ALEXANDRIA SCORES - Haugen 76, Lukas Bigger 78, Aaron Johnson 81, Nick Brundell 82, Kyle Blank 84, Brandon Bistodeau 88.