JORDAN - Tied for last after a rough first day at the Class AA boys' state golf tournament in Jordan, the Marshall Tigers entered Wednesday's final round with little to no chance of winning a state title, but that didn't stop them from playing like they were in the hunt.
On a windy afternoon at Ridges at Sand Creek, the Tigers put together a team total of 305 - the second-best score of the day - to finish the tournament in fifth place at 617. Detroit Lakes defended its Class AA crown with a two-day score of 601, just one stroke better than second-place Hermantown. Staples-Motley was third at 607, and Byron was fourth with a 617.
The runner-up at state last year, Marshall entered the tournament hoping to add some championship hardware to its trophy case. After a disappointing Day 1 in which they shot a team score of 312, the Tigers were as just hoping to save face.
Photos by Matt Dahlseid
Marshall senior Marcus Holmberg hits an iron shot Wednesday at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan during Day 2 of the Class AA state golf tournament. Holmberg shot a 76 Wednesday and tied for 36th overall with a two-day total of 158. Inset: Marshall’s Hanna Peterson tees off on the 7th hole Wednesday at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan during Day 2 of the Class AA state golf tournament. She shot a 95 on Day 2.
With no pressure on them Wednesday, the Tigers were able to play how they knew they could.
"We were just more relaxed. We started the day 21 strokes back, so it was unrealistic to think we were going to win," said senior Marcus Holmberg, who shot an 82 Tuesday and followed it up with a 76 Wednesday. "We just went out there and had fun, and it showed."
Max Deutz, the Tigers' other senior and last year's Class AA individual medalist, led the charge with a fifth-place finish individually at 147. After shooting an even-par round of 72 Tuesday that felt like it could have been much better (he was at 5-under on a couple different occasions), he felt pretty happy with a 75 on Wednesday.
CLASS AA BOYS / DAY 2
Boys Team Scores: 1. Detroit Lakes 291-310 601; 2. Hermantown302-300 602; 3. Staples-Motley 294-313 607; 4. Byron 301-311 612; 5. Marshall 312-305 617; 6. Providence Academy 307-315 622; 7. St. Croix Lutheran 312-327 639; 8. Waseca 312-338 650.
Top 10 Individuals: 1. Taylor Sundbom (Hermantown) 142; t2. Karter Smith (Detroit Lakes), Jack Riester (Holy Angels) 145; 4. Jordan Peters (Delano) 146; 5. Max Deutz (Marshall) 147; 6. Logan Bashaw (Byron) 148; t7. Josh Polingo (Litchfield), Austin Snow (Waseca), Michael Herzog (Detroit Lakes), Paul Stankey (Providence Academy) 149.
Marshall Individual Scores: 5. Max Deutz 72-75 147; t26. Matt Bennett 81-74 155; t33. Brent Haukom 77-80 157; t36. Marcus Holmberg 82-76 158; 78. Alex Buysse 82-91 173; 84. Matt Christianson 89-93 182.
CLASS?AA GIRLS / DAY 2
Girls Team Totals: 1. Detroit Lakes 308-311 619; 2. Minnewaska 335-319 654; 3. St. Croix Lutheran 345-346 691; 4. Providence Academy 354-358 712; 5. St. Cloud Cathedral 367-355 722; 6. Stewartville 374-369 743; 7. Hermantown 382-398 780; 8. Fairmont 393-401 794.
Top 10 Individuals: 1. Kate Smith (Detroit Lakes) 140; 2. Kourtney Williams (Becker) 149; 3. Brianna Janu (Minnewaska) 153; 4. Trisa Hutchinson (Detroit lakes) 154; 5. Emily Israelson (Staples-Motley) 156; 6. Anni Heck (Visitation) 158; t7. Jenny Pederson (St. Croix Lutchern), Beccky Koepp (Belle Plaine) 159; 9. Marja Sorenson (ROCORI) 160; t10. Matty Tschider (Detroit Lakes), Jenna Janu (Minnewaska), Guggisberg (Minnewaska) 162.
Marshall Individual Scores: t48. Hanna Peterson 185.
Deutz said he struck the ball as well as or better than when he won state a year ago, but his putting prevented him from defending his title. Still, he said he couldn't complain about his fifth-place finish.
"If you would have told me fifth place before the tournament, I would have taken it," said Deutz, who will play at St. John's next year and be a rival with Holmberg, who will play at Gustavus Adolphus. "You have to play well to get fifth. There are so many good players here and I'm just excited I grinded it out today."
Hermantown's Taylor Sundbom chased down Day 1 leader Karter Smith of Detroit Lakes on Wednesday, firing a 69 for a 2-under two-day total of 142. Smith finished three strokes back in a tie for second with Holy Angels' Jack Riester.
With Wednesday's winds causing havoc for the players, Deutz said he felt the course was playing three strokes over par.
"It's not that it's just windy, it's that on this course it swirls," Deutz said. "One minute it'll be coming in your face and then right when you get up to the ball it'll stop and you'll fly the green. Then the next minute it'll be going another direction. It's not like in Marshall where when it's blowing one way, it's staying that way. It's just so tricky."
Marshall sophomore Matt Bennett handled the wind better than most. He shot a 74 Wednesday, which was seven strokes better than his Day 1 score.
"It was nice because we all knew we had nothing to lose," Bennett said. "We could just go for everything. That helped. I was hitting the ball a lot better than yesterday, but yesterday I was putting really well and today I just couldn't make any putts."
Brent Haukom added an 80 Wednesday after shooting a 77 for the Tigers on Day 1. He finished in a tie for 33rd with a 157. Alex Buysse and Matt Christianson, both playing in their first state tournament, finished with total scores of 173 and 182, respectively.
Marshall head coach Allen Lucht, who was likely leading the Tigers for the final time after four years at the helm, said he was proud of how his players responded following their lackluster opening day.
"We had a talk and we all knew how we should play," Lucht said. "It was just super to see them pick it up and do what they did. In their minds, they're living with a good feeling. It makes these kids have pride when they know that can play that good."
The players expressed their gratitude for Lucht's guidance following the tournament, and Bennett teased that he was hoping to get Lucht to come back as head coach next year.
"My wife would shoot me if we came back. We might, you never know. Time will tell, but as far as right now, I have grandchildren I have to be with and that's where we're at.
"It's really hard to leave, and I've built a lot of great connections in Marshall, but there comes a time when you have to retire, unfortunately. And I have to work on my own game a little bit, too."
By Matt Dahlseid
JORDAN - As a freshman at the Class AA girls' state golf tournament who hopes to make a few more state appearances, Marshall's Hanna Peterson went through her two rounds at the Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan making mental notes of what she did right, what she did wrong, and how she can do better in the future.
Peterson shot a 95 during Wednesday's final round after shooting a Day 1 score of 90. Her two-day total of 185 put her in a tie for 48th place.
The ninth-grader wasn't thrilled about her final score Wednesday, feeling she could have done better, but her coach said this week's competition will only strengthen Peterson for what's to come.
"She's young, she's only a freshman and she has a very bright future ahead of her," Marshall girls' coach Nancy Blanchard said. "She's fundamentally sound, it's just getting her some experience around the greens at different golf courses.
"This grass isn't very similar to Marshall and it's hard to chip out of when you're not used to it. But that's how you learn and it's nice to get here when you're young. Hopefully that will help for the future."
Peterson shot a 45 on the back nine, her first nine holes of her second round, but came in with a 50 on her second nine. She never really seemed to be able to get comfortable on her second nine, and admitted afterwards that her game had her frustrated.
"I got really mad," Peterson said. "My putting was off. I don't know what was up, but it wasn't good."
Peterson normally likes to play fast, but said she may have rushed herself too much at times.
Blanchard noticed Peterson's frustrations coming through on her final nine holes. Still, she thought the young golfer handled herself well for her first state tournament.
"She definitely let a couple of poor shots get to her, but all in all, she had a very good tournament," Blanchard said. "She hit the ball really well, for the most part. Some of the stray balls cost her more today than they did yesterday, and the putter wasn't there today."
The Class AA individual title was won by another youngster, Detroit Lakes eighth-grader Kate Smith. Smith shot 70 both days and finished nine strokes clear of the pack. Her Lakers also won the team title handily with a score of 619, 35 strokes better than Minnewaska.
Peterson, who said she has a busy summer schedule filled of junior tournaments, relished the chance to play with a talented field.
"It's good to see all these other good players and it was fun," she said.