ROCHESTER – Red Wing had a great opportunity to book a bus ticket to the Class 2A state tournament in a couple weeks. But Byron spoiled the chance, taking home the Section 1AA title with a 643, 18 strokes better than the Wingers’ 661.
Red Wing had the section where it wanted it, shooting a first-round best 318. That four-stroke lead over the Bears did not hold on Wednesday, as winds and dry greens doomed the Wingers to second place.
“I will say this: we have a great group of guys. I’m proud of how they handled themselves, but at this point, we’re very disappointed at how we performed,” said Red Wing head coach Lee Kinney.
The Wingers were in the driver’s seat in the final round, but a 343 on the second day erased any chance the Wingers had, especially with the Bears’ shooting nearly identical scores of 321 and 322.
Lake City had a similar outcome, shooting a 332 to go along with Friday’s first round of 330. Rochester Lourdes faltered down the stretch, extending its first-round of 327 into a 344 on Wednesday.
While Red Wing missed a chance to send six golfers to state, one did come away with a trip to Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan. Fritz Belisle, who shot a 77 on Day 1, followed with an 85, which placed the Winger fourth among individual qualifiers.
Before he learned his fate, Belisle called his chances “up in the air.”
“I got a pretty good score, but my 84 (in the second round) is not the greatest,” Belisle said.
Brennan Rothgarn, who shot a 164 to finish in sixth place, one spot shy of a state-qualifying slot, led Lake City. The medalist for the two-day tournament was Hunter Fjerstad of Byron, who shot a 150. Zumbrota-Mazeppa’s Isaac Leonard finished 15th with a 168.
The Class AA boys state tournament will tee off at noon Tuesday, June 10 at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan. The final round is June 11.