Detroit Lakes 2020 graduate and golf team captain Shelby Busker works on her golf game all year round and it has shown this summer.
Busker has four victories already and has won half of the tournaments she has entered. That includes a stop in Alexandria this week at the Geneva Golf Club, where she edged Alexandria’s Hannah Boraas by three strokes to win the MN PGA Junior Players Tour event.
“In the winter, I hit inside into a net to keep my swing in groove and try to go on a couple trips,” Busker said. “As soon as the snow gets off, I’m out there practice and hitting.”
Busker and teammate Anna Cihak (Minnesota State University-Mankato commit) were primed to lead the Lakers into Class AAA this season moving up to take on the biggest schools in the state.
“We were pretty bummed,” Busker said. “I’m thankful that we’re still able to play summer tournaments. It would have been a whole different experience moving up a class.”
This would have been Busker’s fifth year in the DL lineup dating back to the 2015 team with Kate Smith, Shelby’s sister Sydney (St. Kate’s), Abby Schramel (UND), Maddie Herzog (NDSU), Lauren Tschider (Concordia soccer) and Katie Larson. Busker was part of three straight Lakers Class AA championships (2016-18).
She comes with a pedigree in successful golf within her own family. Her sister, Sydney, was a captain, four-year team leader and holds multiple program records at St. Catherine University in St. Paul. Shelby chose Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).
“It turned out to be a really good fit because I was looking for a place that had Biomedical Engineering, so I’ll be getting a Purdue degree in that,” she said.
Not the easiest of degrees to get, Busker has discussed her choice of studies and playing golf with her coaches already.
“It is going to be difficult to do engineering and golf but they were nice and believed in me that I can do both,” said Busker.
In Thursday’s victory in Alexandria, Busker got a move on right to the top of the leaderboard by shooting a round-best 73 to lead by two strokes over Paynesville’s Anna Eckmann after the first round on Wednesday.
The confidence and having the lead allowed Busker to seal the victory on day two by simply concentrating on consistency during her round.
“I feel like at this point I’ve played in a lot of tournaments and had so much experience with how to handle different situations,” she said.
Only Boraas had a better score on the second day, putting up a 78 (+4) to finish three shots back of Busker’s winning 6-over par 151 (73-78).
“I feel like with the mental game and being able to practice without school I’m able to feel more confident,” Busker said. “If I’m not hitting it the greatest that day, I’m still confident I can make up-and-downs and make something out of some not so good situations.”
Busker was the top golfer with 27 pars and 9 bogeys in 36 holes. Her three birdies were tied for fourth best at the tournament.
Of her victories this summer, none was better than capturing medalist honors beating a who’s who of Minnesota’s best in the stroke play qualifier.
“That did feel really good seeing all the U of M players and girls from all different D-I colleges,” said Busker.
She is also looking forward to the Minnesota-Wisconsin PGA Junior Cup matches July 16-17 at SentryWorld Golf Course in Stevens Point, Wisc. She was one of a dozen female golfers chosen for the team. This is a two-day event featuring 48 of the best high school golfers across Minnesota and Wisconsin. The format includes four-ball matches on the first day and singles matches on the last day.
The Minnesota-Wisconsin PGA Junior Cup Matches have been ongoing between the two PGA Sections since 1998, with Wisconsin holding the all-time lead 12-10.
Busker, the 2019 Minnesota PGA Junior Golf ‘Sota Series tour player of the year, has already qualified to compete in the Minnesota Women’s Amateur tournament July 27-29 at Stillwater Country Club.
“Always a good test and good practice for college is the Women’s Am at the end of July,” Busker said.
MN PGA Junior Players Tour, Geneva GC, Alexandria
1 Shelby Busker, Detroit Lakes, +6 (73-78 151)
2 Hannah Boraas, Alexandria, +9 (78-76 154)
3 Anna Eckmann, Paynesville, +16 (75-86 161)\u0009
T4 Sophie Karsnia, Baxter, +20 (80-85 165)\u0009
T4 Rachel Schwarz, Marshall, +20 (80-85 165)\u0009
6 Lindsey Astrup, Fargo, +21F (87-79 166)
7 Annika Stensrud, Glenwood, +22 (86-81 167)
T8 Samantha Youngquist, Eden Prairie, +24 (84-85 169)
T8 Bergen Senf Fairmont, +24 (82-87 169)
10 Katie Foley, East Gull Lake, +26 (84-87 171)
23 Hanna Knoop, Frazee, +50 (100-95 195)