State Golf: Pequot Lakes Patriots fifth, Pine River-Backus' Barchus 6th at state
Seeling ties for 23rd for Pequot Lakes boys; Pine River-Backus's Zaczkowski takes 60th
Area golfers put on a show at various state meets, including the Pequot Lakes Patriot girls team, which finished fifth overall in the Class 2A tournament Tuesday and Wednesday, June 15-16.
“Coming out on Tuesday, there were definitely a little bit of nerves, which is totally normal,” Patriot coach Savannah Smith said. “We have such a young team … but they came out and followed the plan.”
The team shot matching scores of 367 on each day, and were led by Morgan Krieger who shot an 87 on Day One and an 80 on Day Two - a personal best - to finish ninth as an individual.
“She is very determined and analytical about her game,” Smith said. “Her whole family are golfers - her sister played in the 3A state meet. I knew coming into this year that she was hungry, but I think she is really starting to peak at the right time.”
Krieger was followed by Genevieve Birkeland’s 184, tying for 36th place, followed by a 188 (48th) from Annie Neva, a 196 (58th) from Maddie Pederson and a 201 (67th) from Charlee Sullivan. Sullivan managed to shave 11 strokes off her Day One performance to shoot a 95 on Day Two.
“That was her personal record for tournament golf,” Smith said. “That was fun to see. She really kind of turned it on for the back nine. She had a birdie and quite a few pars. She has made a lot of swing changes in the last few weeks so being able to see that translate to the course was really cool.”
The Patriots now part ways with just one senior, Pederson, leaving the team’s coach to believe the future is bright on the links for Pequot Lakes.
“I think we can start out our expectations with going to the state tournament next year if everything stays the same with the sections,” Smith said. “We are deep even past the people that went to state … We have people that are on the bench for us that can perform. I think for the next few years, we’ll be a team to watch.”
On the boys’ side, Patriot junior Tyler Seeling shot a 79 on Day One and a 76 on Day Two to finish the Class 2A tournament tied for 23rd place with a total of 155.
“Tyler had an enjoyable experience this year at state, even though he probably would have told you he wished he would have played a little better the first day,” coach Steve Stoxen said. “He was striking the ball well, but simply had a few unfortunate breaks and the putting was inconsistent at times throughout the round.”
Seeling improved steadily on the second day of the tournament, according to his coach, and moved up 11 places after sitting in 34th after the first day of the tournament.
“Day Two, he continued to hit the ball solidly and found fairways, and putts started to drop,” Stoxen said. “Without a triple (bogey) on hole No. 6, Tyler is playing even par for the day, which is a testament to his work ethic by being able to hang in there mentally after making a triple bogey and finishing with a 76.”
PR-B's Hannah Barchus was the top local finisher, finishing sixth overall in the Class A State Meet.
“I knew she was going to play at this level at some point,” Tiger coach Mark Gonnion said. “We made some changes to her game, which she executed just beautifully. It was something that was really pivotal to her success.”
The Tiger sophomore shot a two-day score of 171 - 89 on the first day and 82 on the second - to earn the high finish.
“For the two days she was there, I can count maybe three or four three-putts at the most,” Gonnion said. “I think moving forward, she can build on this … I see her setting her sights toward a new scoring expectation. I think she was five or six strokes off the two girls that won the tournament, so I would expect that is going to be her goal as she looks toward next year. I think that is really exciting.”
For the PR-B boys, Joe Zaczkowski shot a 179 to finish 60th. The sophomore shot an 82 on the first day of the tournament, but struggled to a 97 on Day Two.
“He really wanted to do as well as he could,” PR-B boys coach Steve Heslop said. “He is very competitive and he has one of the best swings - coaches are constantly commenting on how good his swing is - but once in a while his putting lets him down, but he’s getting better at that too … On the second day on the first nine, his putter let him down quite a bit, but he fought that off and came back with a 43 on the back side.
“He’ll be back. I’m already looking forward to next year … He is the most dedicated (golfer) to the game that I've had," Heslop said.
Dan Determan may be reached at 218-855-5879 or email@example.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Dan.