Boys Golf: A new frontier for most area qualifiers - Brainerd Dispatch - bdsthanhhoavn.com

Boys Golf: A new frontier for most area qualifiers – Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — Turner Person and Max Holmstrom are state tournament rookies.

So are most of the Pequot Lakes Patriots, who advanced as a team for the Class 2A Tournament.

For Person and Holmstrom it will be a whole new world for the Class 3A Tournament as Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids was lengthened for this year’s event.

“The course demands that you hit driver and be accurate with it and Turner has excelled in that all season,” Brainerd head coach Brian Wallace said. “They’ve lengthened the course this year for the first time for the boys. They’re playing from the tournament tees so that puts even more pressure on your driver and he’s an excellent driver of the ball.”

Person will tee off at 8:33 a.m. Tuesday. He qualified for his first state tournament by placing fourth in the Section 8-3A Tournament June 3 at Headwaters Golf Club in Park Rapids. Person opened with a 76 and then shot 79 on Day Two for a 155.

“I just hope he has an enjoyable experience,” Wallace said. “His personality this year has been to just take-it-as-it comes. He hasn’t gotten too upset about anything and that showed through at the section tournament when he steadied his round in the middle when he was having some issues and then he finished strong. I hope now he can just enjoy the next two days and who knows what can happen.”

Holmstrom is scheduled to tee off at 8:24 a.m. Tuesday.

In the final round of the section tournament, Holmstrom birdied his final hole to nab the final individual spot for state. He shot 79 on the first day and rallied with a 77 on Day Two for 156.

“Max’s strength is his length off the tee,” Wallace said. “He broke his driver head last week. He’s got a replacement and today he’s hitting it very well. With his strength being length off the tee, he can hit beyond a lot of the courses’ obstacles. That’s a huge advantage over anybody else. When you can take out the danger because of your length, that’s what is going to help him a lot.”

The two played Bunker Hills last Wednesday along with a practice round Monday. Wallace said playing a course multiple times should help with their comfort levels despite being state first-timers.

For Holmstrom, a junior, Wallace hopes this won’t be his last time.

“I want him to gain the experience and gain the confidence and be able to bring that back to the team next spring,” Wallace said. “Hopefully that will bleed into his teammates next year and we can be competitive as a team and get down here as a group instead of individuals.”

Class 2A

Carter White StaplesMotley.jpg

Staples-Motley’s Carter White tees off during Cardinal Invite at The Vintage at Staples during the regular season.

Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

Tyler Seeling enters his third state tournament with lofty goals.

The Pequot Lakes senior was one of eight Minnesota senior boys to earn finalist honors for Mr. Minnesota Golf. Seeling didn’t win that honor, but his sights for a high finish in the Class 2A State Tournament Tuesday and Wednesday at Ridges at Sand Creek are set.

Last season, Seeling tied for 23rd for All-State honors. He fired a 79 and 76 for a two-day 155.

“I think Tyler would be happy with a top-five finish, but I’m sure he feels, and I think I do as his coach as well, that he’s capable of doing a really good job down here. He’s got the experience and he’s got the game.”

Seeling finished second in the Section 6-2A Tournament that concluded June 7 at Blackberry Ridge in Sartell. He shot a 149 to place second by one stroke to Kimball’s Luke Ashbrook. Seeling shot rounds of 75-74.

“The way he is looking at it, and we both are as we’ve talked about it, but he’s striking the golf ball extremely well,” Stoxen said. “He just hasn’t been rewarded with the putts dropping. I think he’s looking at it like he’s missed a few 4-footers once in a while that he thinks maybe should have gone in the hole so he’s frustrated.

“He’s thinking he isn’t playing that well, but he’s striking it very well. He just needs to knock in a few more of those putts or see a few more of those putts go in. Hopefully, all of a sudden that confidence comes back.”

Cooper Johnson placed seventh in the section meet with a 160. Anthony Armstrong was 14th with a 165 and Michael Oseland and Tollef Birkeland both shot 170s.

“Cooper is a senior and he’s shown great leadership,” Stoxen said. “Anthony is very dedicated and also very competitive and then the young ones, Logan Fogarty, Michael Oseland and Tollef Birkeland have been a pleasant surprise. Tollef has been in the low 80s for me and as a seventh-grader, that’s pretty impressive.”

Logan Fogarty will be the first Patriot off the tee box at 7:30 p.m. He’ll be followed by Oseland, Johnson, Birkeland and Armstrong. Seeling will be the last Pequot player to tee off at 8:15 a.m.

“First thing we did when we got down here was go into the clubhouse, grab a scorecard and Tyler and I went over hole-by-hole with the kids,” Stoxen said. “We told them what to look for, where to hit it off the tee, where the out-of-bounds might come up quickly, types of greens, slopes of greens. There are certain holes where they need to understand that maybe bogey is OK. You don’t need to have a par.

“We’re going to be green when it comes to scoring on the back nine. We’re just a little young. Tyler understands what holes 12, 13 and 14 can do to somebody. They’re just tough, challenging golf holes where you have to be accurate and mentally tough on that stretch of three holes. They’re just three really good par 4s.”

As an eighth-grader, Carter White placed 61st at state with a 166. He shot an 80 on Day One and followed it with an 86 on the second day.

In the Section 6-2A meet, White placed fifth individually with a two-day 158.

Crosby-Ironton/Aitkin’s Frank Meyer is making his state debut. The senior shot rounds of 83-82 in the Section 7-2A meet June 2 at Giants Ridge’s Quarry for a two-day 165 to place sixth individually.

Meyer will tee off at 8:33 a.m. That’s right in front of White, who is scheduled for 8:42 a.m.

“The most important thing, I think, is they have to come down here and enjoy it,” Stoxen said. “They need to understand it’s a game first. They need to have fun and enjoy the time with their teammates. They may not get back together as a group in a state tournament so No. 1 they have to enjoy it. If they are fortunate enough to get back here in the future then they’ll know what to work on. That will make them a better player when they come back.”

Class 1AJoseph Zaczkowski is not new to the Class 1A State Tournament that will begin Tuesday, June 14 at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker.

Last season, the Pine River-Backus Tiger, fired a two-day 179 to tie for 60th. He fired rounds of 82 and 97.

The junior finished fifth in the Section 7-1A Tournament May 26 at Virginia Golf Course. He shot a two-day 161 to qualify again.

Zaczkowski will tee off at 8:51 a.m. Tuesday off of the No. 10 hole.

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or [email protected] Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.

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