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Boys golf: West Central Area finishes third in West Central Conference opener

The Knights got a third-place finish from Mitch Dewey and a good round from freshman Sam Hanson to help them finish in the top half of the field at Olivia.

Sam Hanson
Sam Hanson

OLIVIA — The West Central Area boys golf team made its debut in the West Central Conference by taking third out of eight teams in a 9-hole meet hosted by BOLD at the Olivia Golf Club late this past week.

“Conditions were as tough as they could be for a golf meet with rain, a muddy, wet course, cold temperatures, and 22 mile-per-hour winds,” WCA head coach Kraig Hunter said. “This affected the scores for all the teams.”

Minnewaska won the meet with a 177, while Benson was second at 188. The Knights combined for a 191, and BOLD (192), Morris Area (200), Montevideo (209), Sauk Centre (212) and Melrose (219) rounded out the field.

Charlie Hanson of Morris Area earned medalist honors with a 41, and Zach Gugisberg of Minnewaska was second with a 42.

WCA’s Mitch Dewey shot a 44 to tie for third. Minnewaska’s Riley Larson and Logan Kostelecky, Benson’s Brady DeHaan, and BOLD’s Riley Minkel all shot a 44 as well.

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“The first meet of the year is always a learning experience, especially without having played any rounds outside due to the spring weather,” Hunter said. “It was tough to par any hole with the strong winds. Mitch played well overall, considering the conditions, with 8 bogeys and 1 par and had several other putts close to going in."

Hunter was happy about the round that freshman Sam Hanson put together to give the Knights a second solid score after Dewey.

“Sam had one of the best rounds for us,” Hunter said. “He was up towards the top of the leaderboard most of the day and finished 11th out of the 48 golfers by shooting a 47. He was hitting the ball well, always has a good, positive attitude and you can see he has really improved from last year.”

Marshall Dewey and Peyton Hanson shot a 48 and 52, respectively.

“Marshall had a tough start, but as usual, he stays so calm and came back with a strong finish,” Hunter said. “As with a lot of high school golfers, they have a couple of bad holes and that's what happened to Peyton. Peyton was 7-over on two holes right in the middle of his round. He has been hitting the ball so well in practice and his short game looks much improved from last year, and we know with Peyton's attitude and maturity that he is going to have a big year."

Brett Amundson and Blake Flint both played their first varsity meet. Amundson shot a 53, and Flint carded a 60.

“Both of them had good starts, but being new to varsity, they will work on keeping their mental focus for the entire round,” Hunter said. “After the meet, we reflected as a team and individually and all six of these guys know things they can do that will cut off strokes. That is our goal, to improve every week. Overall, I was proud of our attitude and resiliency. I think playing in the state tournament last year helped us a lot mentally as the boys don't ever seem to get rattled. They play with a lot of composure."

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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