Boys Golf: Wingers grind out 4th-place finish
SHAKOPEE - If things start to get away from the Red Wing boys golf team, they have one simple plan.
Grind it out.
"That's (assistant coach Kris) Hager's famous term," said Wingers senior Jack Gorman. "No matter how things are going out there, you have to just grind it out."
Battling shorter pins at the par-71 Stonebrooke Golf Club for a Missota Conference meet Wednesday, Red Wing's golfers were able to grind out the course and come away with a fourth-place finish by shooting a 320.
"It was good to have our guys play like that," said Red Wing senior Taylor Hanson. "The course was playing pretty short; we were playing from the white tees instead of the blue."
Only two strokes separated the Wingers from second place, as New Prague and Chaska finished with 318 and 319 points, respectively. Chanhassen clinched the team title with 291.
With shorter pin placements, golfers around the course were keeping their drivers in their bags. And on the par 3s, Gorman was excelling, shooting 3-under par on his first four par 3s.
"I was doing well with my iron shots," Gorman said. "All the holes played about the same distance, so I was able to use the same club on every hole."
Gorman did struggle to close his round, going into the water at hole No. 7, bogeying 8 and four-putting for a double bogey on 9. Despite the late slump, Gorman finished in the tie for seventh place with an 18-hole score of 77. He started his round on hole No. 10 and played his best on the back-nine, tallying a 1-over-par 37.
"The course played pretty easy," Gorman said. "It was ideal conditions, and I was able to play pretty well."
Red Wing freshman Fritz Belisle also strung together a solid round, using solid iron play to finish with a round of 80. Belisle was able to play 18 well-rounded holes, shooting 40 on the front and back 9s.
"The short game is always the biggest thing," Belisle said. "I was putting really good, too, but I needed just a little more. The last two holes, I was four over."
After struggling in his first nine holes, John Wedrickas was able to regroup after the turn, shooting a 39 over his final nine to score an 81. Zach Sachen and Hanson closed out the team score after shooting identical 82s. Evan Moren finished with a 92.
Chanhassen's Cody Seal secured medalist honors after shooting a 1-under par 70, beating teammate Zach Maanum by two strokes. New Prague's Jack Pexa (73), Chanhassen's Collin Seal (75) and Farmington's Erik Holmstrom (75) rounded out the top five.
In the last 10 days, Red Wing has played in six meets, something the team admits has been physically and mentally exhausting. But with five days before their next meet - the Missota Conference championship at Red Wing Golf Club - the Wingers are ready for some practice time to grind out a strong finish before section play.
"(Wednesday's round) gives us a lot of momentum, especially with conference being at our home course," Hanson said. "We know all the bounces there. Having some time before then will be good to have so we can work on stuff and make up some ground."