MARSHALL - Temperatures in the 70s. Clear skies. Just slight breeze.
Low scores were there for the taking during Marshall's dual with Luverne on Tuesday at Marshall Golf Club. And the Tigers took them.
The Marshall boys golf team broke the school's nine-hole record for its home course, firing a 2-under total of 142 to beat Luverne by 11 shots. The Tigers' score was two strokes clear of the previous school record, which had been matched multiple times.
Marshall senior Marcus Holmberg eyes his tee shot on the par-5 first hole at Marshall Golf Club. Holmberg shot an even-par round of 36 and was one of eight Marshall boys to shoot in the 30s on Tuesday.
The Tiger girls team also had a strong day with three golfers shooting 45 or lower. Marshall finished with a team score of 184, 11 strokes better than Luverne.
Even with a double-bogey on his second hole of the day (the par-3 4th), Marshall senior Max Deutz went lower than anyone Tuesday, racking up four birdies and earning medalist honors with a 2-under round of 34. Deutz was one of eight Marshall boys to shoot in the 30s, a feat Marshall boys' head coach Allen Lucht said he's never seen before.
Over the weekend, the Tiger boys had to brave a squall during the last few holes on the final day of a two-day tournament at The Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan. Marshall, last year's runner-up at the Class AA state tournament, finished 13 strokes behind defending state champion Detroit Lakes at the weekend tournament, something Deutz said didn't sit well with the team. When the Tigers got to Marshall Golf Club for Tuesday's dual, Deutz said he and his teammates were ready to tear up the course.
Boys Team Results: 1. Marshall 142, 2. Luverne 153.
Marshall Individual Results: Max Deutz 34, Matt Bennett 37, Brent Haukom 35, Marcus Holmberg 36, Matt Christianson 38, Bo Erickson 39.
Luverne Individual Results: Brandon Klein 38, Dylan Skattum 39, Matthew Sterrett 36, Mark Spreiter 40, Austin Maxwell 41, Blake Stegenga 45.
Girls Team Results: 1. Marshall 184, 2. Luverne 195.
Marshall Individual Results: Jessica Blanchard 44, Hanna Peterson 45, Laura Mitlyng 54, Kirsten Webskowski 50, Allie Pogatchinik 45, Sarah Vogl 52.
Luverne Individual Results: Emily Spreiter 48, Kirsten Olson 47, Emilee Johnson 48, Makayla Sterrett 52, Alice Andersson 63, Taylor Stratton 52.
"(The weather) can't get any better. It's 10 out of 10 conditions. Just ideal," Deutz said. "Everyone came out and was ready to play. We didn't have a great weekend in Jordan and I think everyone was just anxious to get back home and get back to shooting scores we know we can shoot.
"The guys got a little vengeance today. I don't think this is the best we can shoot, either. I know we can still move uphill from here."
Marshall sophomore Brent Haukom joined Deutz below par with a 1-under round of 35. Senior Marcus Holmberg added a 36, while sophomore Matt Bennett shot a 37 to round out the Tigers' varsity team total. Other Marshall golfers to shoot in the 30s Tuesday were varsity members Matt Christianson (38) and Bo Erickson (39), and junior varsity golfers Alex Buysse (38) and Jacob Baker (39).
Lucht wasn't happy with how the Tigers performed over the weekend in Jordan, so he worked with his golfers in a long practice session on Monday. He was more than happy with what he saw on Tuesday.
"You can see the hard work paid off," Lucht said. "They came together today as a team and were all kind of rooting for each other. It was cool to watch.
"What I've always said is if you don't have a team of at least six players, you don't have a chance to do well at sections or anything like that. If you take a look at what we've done as a team, we're going to have the last couple spots fought over until the last minute because they're all so close."
Because of the Tigers' team effort, Deutz, the 2011 Class AA individual medalist, got to cross off something else on his list of goals now that he's helped his squad break the school record.
"This is a huge accomplishment," said Deutz, who birdied the par-5 1st and 2nd holes, his final two holes of the day. "The last couple years we've tied the record twice. We've always been trying to get it. Today, everyone just kind of had a good feeling and we got it finally.
"... It helps when you're on your own course where you feel so comfortable and you know all the shots. We still have to improve our game away from Marshall, a lot."
Although they didn't break any records, there were a lot of smiles around the clubhouse from the Marshall girls, too.
Freshman Jessica Blanchard earned medalist honors Tuesday with her score of 44, which she said is her lowest nine-hole round in competition this season. She said she has been working on distance with her shots, but it was her short stick that helped her go low during Tuesday's dual.
"I was putting well, that was the thing going best for me," she said. "And I was hitting my woods pretty well, too."
Junior Allie Pogatchinik and freshman Hanna Peterson were also in the 40s for Marshall, each posting a 45. Sophomore Kirsten Webskowski tallied a 50 to round out the team's top four. Counting varsity and junior varsity golfers, Marshall had seven girls under 55 on Tuesday, something Marshall girls' head coach Nancy Blanchard said she was happy to see.
Blanchard has been pushing for her team to get four rounds in the 40s, and the Tigers are almost there. She was pleased with how her golfers capitalized on ideal scoring conditions Tuesday, but said she knows they still have lower rounds in them.
"We don't get very many days like this with very little wind and nice, warm weather," she said. "They played well and you can't fault them too much. A lot of them, that's their best nine-hole score this year.
"There are shots out there yet. They're still not where they could be on a day like today. They all had some shots they'd like to take back, but all in all, it was a very good day for us."
The Luverne boys team was led by junior Matthew Sterrett, who fired an even-par round of 36. Kirsten Olson led the Cardinal girls with a 47.
The Marshall golf teams resume Southwest Conference dual action at home on Friday against Pipestone Area.