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Alexandria boys' golf: Cards hitting their stride

Sophomore Lukas Bigger followed through on his tee shot at the Alexandria Invite out at AGC last Thursday. Bigger tied for medalist honors after shooting a 74. (Eric Morken, Echo Press)

The Alexandria boys' golf team seemed to be hitting its stride at the right time of year after an impressive showing at its home invite last Thursday.

The Cardinals fielded two teams in the abbreviated meet with Owatonna and Willmar both attending and Moorhead bringing four teams. Alexandria bested them all as eight players shot in the 70s to help the Cardinals to team scores of 306 and 307.

Sophomore Lukas Bigger led the way with a co-medalist showing. He shot 74 by shaving 10 putts off his game from where he was the meet before. Bigger shot a 40 on the front but went 2-under on the back to finish with a flurry.

"It took a couple rounds, a couple practices, to finally get in that routine," Bigger said of where his game is at now. "But once it finally started, it's been pretty good. I feel like I'm sitting pretty good. If I just keep my game going, it will turn out positive."

Brady Bast was right behind Bigger with a 75. Cole Haugen and Brandon Bistodeau each shot 76s. Brady Hafdal shot a 77, Nick Brundell and Nic Hanson both carded 78s, while Kyle Blank finished with a 79.

The Cardinals showed the kind of potential they have on this team. The weather conditions were perfect on their home course, and many took advantage of that.

"I think we're the best team in the section," Bigger said when asked how this team stacks up as it looks toward the postseason. "We're always right there at the end during sections. Moorhead was setting state records last year, so it was kind of hard to beat that, but I think we'll make it to state this year."

Alexandria had a Central Lakes Conference title to try and win before that. The Cardinals were scheduled to be at the Wapicada Golf Club in Sauk Rapids yesterday, Tuesday, for the final CLC match of the spring. The formula was simple for both St. Cloud Tech and Alexandria - win and the conference title is theirs.

"That would definitely give us some confidence going into sections, knowing we beat all those other teams that we'll be playing with," Haugen said after the AGC Invite. "So obviously, we want to win the conference to prove that we're better than everyone else."

The fact that the Cardinals were in that position is a testament to the progress they have made since the start of the season. Alexandria finished fifth at the first CLC meet this year but battled all the way back to tie the Tigers heading into yesterday's meet.

The Cardinals believe they have what it takes to get back to a state tournament with a strong showing at the section meet, which starts June 3 at the Greystone Golf Course. They know, though, that it's on them to go out and prove that.

"As long as we don't try too hard," Brundell said. "If we don't beat ourselves, we have a good chance. It would be pretty cool to bring the team this year. It's been a while, so if we just have fun and play well, we'll have a chance."


TEAM RESULTS - 1. Alexandria Black - 306; 2. Alexandria Red - 307; 3. Owatonna - 309; 4. Willmar - 314; 5. Moorhead One - 317; 6. Moorhead Two - 348; 7. Moorhead Three - 401; 8. Moorhead Four - 450

ALEXANDRIA - Bigger - T-medalist, 74; Bast - 75; Haugen - 76; Bistodeau - 76; Hafdal - 77; Brundell - 78; Hanson - 78; Blank - 79; Aaron Johnson - 82; Dan Hennessy - 83; Ryan Marciniak - 90; Devin Brundell - 92; Levi Vaagenes - 93; Manford Foster - 106

Coming off a medalist round of 70 last Monday, Cardinal senior Nick Brundell continued to play well for the Alexandria boys' golf team as they competed in the St. Cloud Apollo Invitational last Wednesday, finishing fourth.

"We haven't been to the Apollo Invite for several years, but we had a good showing today," said head coach Rick Larson. "The weather was great and the course in great shape.

"Our score of 310 was good for fourth place out of 17 teams," he added. "Nick led us again. After shooting a 70 Monday, his birdie, birdie finish gave him a 3-over-par 75. His scoring continues to get better."

Cole Haugen was two strokes back of his teammate at 77, and Nic Hanson was just one stroke behind him at 78.

Aaron Johnson carded an 80, Lukas Bigger 84 and Dan Hennessey 85.

"Cole continues to score in the 70s and even a triple bogey could not keep him from scoring well," said his coach. "Nic had his best day as a varsity player and scored a great round of 78.

"Aaron, a sophomore, continues his good scoring and we counted his 80.

"Lukas, fighting sickness, struggled on the greens, and Dan can't seem to get in to the lower 80s," he added. "All in all, a good outing."



TEAM SCORES - Edina 297, Brainerd 304, St. Cloud Tech 305, Alexandria 310, Detroit Lakes 314, St. Michael-Albertville 318, Sartell and Buffalo 325, Willmar and St. Cloud Cathedral 337, Rocori 339, Sauk Rapids 341, Rockford 343, Cambridge 346, St. Cloud Apollo 352, Pierz 361, Big Lake 369.

MEDALIST - Thomas Stoxen, Brainerd, 68.

ALEXANDRIA RESULTS - Nick Brundell 75, Cole Haugen 77, Nic Hanson 78, Aaron Johnson 80, Lukas Bigger 84, Dan Hennessey 85.

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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