Tom Mix, Published April 17 2012
Oak Grove golfer looks to defend title
The senior Grovers standout, who is the defending North Dakota Class B medalist, opened the season earning medalist honors last Thursday at the RB Cottonwood Classic in Casselton, N.D.
Rustvang took a small step back on Tuesday, carding an 82 to tie for third place during the Kindred golf meet at Oxbow Country Club.
“I’ve been playing pretty well,” Rustvang said. “Today wasn’t the best, obviously, but I’ve been starting out OK.”
Kindred eighth grader Cody Pulczinski took first with a 5-over 77.
“I played pretty well,” Pulczinski said. “I hit quite a few fairways and had four birdies, but it was very windy.”
It’s still early, and the fact that Rustvang and the rest of the field has two or more meets and weeks of practices under their belts is something that hasn’t been the trend the last several years due to seasonal flooding.
Oak Grove head coach Jon Erickson is not worried about his No. 1 golfer.
“He’s just an unassuming guy,” Erickson said. “He doesn’t seem too flappable. He just kind of sticks to his game and you never know how he’s playing by his demeanor. We work up to the state tournament, so for him to do so well in the first meet was very encouraging. He struggled a bit today, but all the basics are there for him and he just needs to tweak a couple things.”
Rustvang shot a two-day 151 at last year’s state meet and plans on contending for a repeat. No Class B golfer has repeated as medalist in back-to-back seasons since Jayme Gronneberg of Griggs County Central won medals in 1996 and 1997. Justin Jenkins won two individual titles in 2004 as a member of Milnor and again in 2006 representing Fargo Oak Grove.
“It’s a big goal of mine to win again this year,” Rustvang said. “It was nice to achieve that last year. I’ve done it before, but I also, of course, want to play my best and do it again.”
The state meet is set for May 29-30 at Oxbow Country Club, which gives Rustvang, an Oxbow resident, a home-course advantage.
Rustvang isn’t the only one who will feel at home come the end of May. Kindred’s home course is Oxbow CC, and the Vikings are defending team champions who have ideas of a repeat as well.
“Our strength is we got six guys that can come out and score for us,” Kindred head coach Perry Piatz said. “A lot of teams have to count on their top four guys. We got six guys that are pretty solid that we can rely on so if one guy has a bad day the other guys can step up for us.”
The Vikings earned top team honors on Tuesday, collecting a score of 322.
Kindred’s David Talley placed second behind Pulczinski with a 79. Tyler Holland tied with Rustvang for third with an 82.
“We just need to get out there and practice every day rain or shine,” Talley said. “We need to make sure we keep our composure on the course and work on our short game because that is what wins the tournaments”
Oak Grove finished second with a 339.
“We’re trying to find our four, five and six player spots,” Erickson said. “We got three solid players returning. We are looking for who is going to step up and take over those three other spots. It’s wide open right now, but sometimes these early meets are good indicators of where some of these kids are.”
Kindred golf meet
Team scores: Kindred 322, Fargo Oak Grove 339, Hillsboro 387, Lisbon 395, Carrington 399, Central Cass 400, MayPort-CG 432, Griggs County Central 453.
Top 10 scores: 1, C. Pulczinski, K, 77. 2, Talley, K, 79. 3 (tie), Holland, K; Rustvang, OG, 82. 4, Card, OG, 83. 5 (tie), Goehring, OG; A. Pulczinski, K, 84. 6, Anderson, K, 89. 7 (tie), Preston, H; Kretchman, OG, 90.
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Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562