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Resorters: Hacker continues his run as 14th seed in Junior 13-15

Rest of final four features top seeds.

WillHacker 11th fairway 6645.jpg
Will Hacker hits an approach shot on the back nine during the Junior 13-15 quarterfinal round on Aug. 3, 2022. Hacker, seeded 14th, got a second straight 1-up victory to move on to the semifinals that are set for Friday. <br/>
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press
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ALEXANDRIA — Last year’s Junior 10-12 champion, Will Hacker, is proving through two rounds of match play that he can play pretty well a division up already too.

Hacker came into match play seeded 14th in the Junior 13-15 Division this week, but he has found a way to win two close matches by 1-up scores against lower seeds. He took down third-seeded Weston Nyberg on Monday. Then on Wednesday, Hacker got by sixth-seeded Will Thornburg by the same score.

The rest of the semifinal round is made up of top-four seeds as Lunden Esterline, Carson Boe and Carver Larson will all meet on the first tee box at 2:10 p.m. on Friday when match play resumes in this division.

Here is a look at how all four players got here.

Esterline def. Crosby, 3-2

Top-seeded Lunden Esterline used a three-hole stretch on the front nine, which was his second nine, to get by Adam Crosby in a 3-2 final.

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Esterline got a birdie, par and bogey win at Nos. 3-5 that moved him to four up. Crosby got a hole back with a birdie win at the par-five sixth, but both players halved No. 7 to end the match early.

Esterline’s wins on the back came with a birdie on 12 and pars on 14, 16 and 18. That was enough to take a 2-up lead to the front after Crosby got a birdie win at 13 and a par win at 17.

Boe def. Gugisberg, 5-4

Carson Boe of Cottonwood made quick work of an opponent for the second time in as many matches this week.

Boe followed up an 8-7 win in his opening match by beating Zachary Gugisberg in a 5-4 final on Wednesday.

Boe’s wins on the back, where the juniors started from, came on 12 with a birdie and on Nos. 17 and 18 with a bogey and a par.

That 2-up advantage grew quickly after making the turn to the front. Boe got a par win at 1 before a birdie win at 3 and a par win at 5 ended things. Gugisberg’s lone win of the match came with a birdie on the par-five 14th.

Larson def. Hanson, 3-1

Alexandria’s Carver Larson trailed by one hole through four against Charles Hanson on Wednesday before he closed the back nine with a flurry.

Larson, seeded second, got a birdie win at 14 and two more birdies at 17 and 18 that helped him shoot 34 through his first nine. That gave him a 2-up advantage at the turn.

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Another birdie at No. 2 made it a 3-up lead before Hanson got his second hole of the day with a par on No. 4. Larson put the match away with another birdie, this time on the par-four eighth to end any hopes Hanson had of a late surge.

Hacker def. Thornburg, 1-up

Will Hacker and Will Thornburg were never separated by more than two holes on Wednesday, but Hacker found a way to finish down the stretch.

The win sets up a battle between former Junior champs at the Resorters. Hacker won last year’s Junior 10-12 title by a 5-3 final after taking second in the division in 2020. Larson won the 2019 Junior 10-12 championship.

Esterline was the 2020 Junior 10-12 champ, and Boe has finished second in the 13-15 field each of the last two years.

It all sets the stage for what should be two good final-four matches come Friday afternoon.

JUNIOR 13-15 DIVISION PAIRINGS - FRIDAY - 1ST TEE BOX
2:10 p.m. - Lunden Esterline vs. Carson Boe; Carver Larson vs. Will Hacker  

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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