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Resorters Golf: A hole-in-one provides a spark for Lunden Esterline to advance to Junior 13-15 finals

Alexandria's Carver Larson will meet top seed Lunden Esterline in Saturday's finals.

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Lunden Esterline tees off from the No. 3 box at the Alexandria Golf Club during his semifinal match in the Junior 13-15 Division on Aug. 5, 2022 at the Resorters. Esterline won a tight 2-1 match over Carson Boe in a round that included a hole-in-one for Esterline at No. 7.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press
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No. 1 seed Lunden Esterline will go up against the No. 2 seed, Carver Larson, with the Resorters Junior 13-15 title on the line Saturday.

They each won hard-fought matches in Friday’s semifinals. Esterline’s match against Carson Boe lasted 17 holes and included a hole-in-one from Esterline on the Minnesota green, No. 7.

Larson, meanwhile, needed 16 holes to knock off the defending Junior 10-12 Division champion and 14th seed, Will Hacker.

Read more Resorters golf coverage from the Echo Press
The Rochester 33-year-old is in a different place in his life than most of the college-age golfers he faced at this year's Resorters Tournament in Alexandria. He savored every minute of a run to the finals with his young family by his side at the Alexandria Golf Club.

Esterline hopes to repeat his 2020 championship run in the Junior 10-12 Division. Larson, meanwhile, hopes to bring home another Resorters trophy to match the Junior Division 10-12 title he won in 2019.

The finalists will tee it up from No. 1 at 12:15 p.m. The division’s consolation finalists will round out the foursome.

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Esterline def. Boe, 2-1

Defeating Boe, a two-time runner-up in the Junior 13-15 Division, took some well-placed shots, such as the ace Esterline notched on the 7th hole that put him 3-up.

After halving the first two holes with pars, Esterline was able to surge into the lead with a bogey win on No. 3 and a par win on No. 5.

Boe notched his first win with a par on the 9th hole but trailed by two at the turn. Boe made a match out of it, winning Nos. 10 and 11 with pars to draw even.

After tying on the next two holes, Esterline made a clutch par on No. 14 to regain the lead. Both golfers swapped pars on Nos. 15 and 16 before Esterline put the match away with a par win on the par-3 17th for a 2-1 victory.

Larson def. Hacker, 4-2

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Carver Larson holds his pose after his tee shot as he watches the ball land on the third hole during the Junior 13-15 semifinals on Aug. 5, 2022 at the Resorters. Larson got a 4-2 win on Friday to advance to the championship match.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

Larson built a lead on the front nine, getting a good start with a par win on the first hole. He followed that up with three big wins – a bogey on No. 3, a birdie on No. 7 and a par on No. 8 to go 4-up at the turn.

Both golfers tied on the next three holes, going par, bogey, par.

Hacker mounted a comeback with back-to-back par wins on Nos. 13 and 14 to draw within two. But Carver wasn’t about to let the match slip away. He won No. 15 with birdie and nailed down a 4-2 win with a par on the 16th hole.

JUNIOR 13-15 CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH, SATURDAY - 1st Tee 
12:15 p.m. - Lunden Esterline vs. Carver Larson

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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