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Tom Miller / Forum Communications Co., Published July 19 2012

Papachek continues strong play on the golf course

GRAND FORKS – Coy Papachek shot a 69 during Thursday’s qualifying round at the North Dakota state match play championship, tying for the lowest score of the day.

But for the Fargo native, it was a run-of-the-mill result.

“Over my last 10 rounds, I’ve been at even or under par,” said Papachek, who just completed his freshman season at Concordia College in Moorhead.

Papachek kept the strong golf rolling at the Grand Forks Country Club as he and West Fargo’s Connor Holland each shot 69s.

Holland, a two-time all-East Region and all-state performer, has signed a letter of intent to play at North Dakota State next season.

As the defending state match play champion, Tim Skarperud didn’t have to qualify and will receive the No. 1 seed. He tees off against Nate Moen at 8 a.m. in today’s first round of match play.

After Papachek and Holland, three golfers shot 71s: Duane Wages III, Bill Carlson and Colin Bork.

“I putted well; didn’t miss any short ones,” Papachek said. “It was a pretty solid day all around. I only had two bogeys and no big numbers.”

Papachek said the heat, with temperatures rising into the 90s, wasn’t a factor for him.

“I teed off pretty early in the day and by the time I finished up it wasn’t too bad yet,” he said.

Papachek will now face Jack McClintock in the first round of match play today. The pair will tee off at 8:40 a.m.

“You just have to take it one shot at a time,” Papachek said. “In match play, you don’t play the opponent, you play the course. You have to throw out some birdies and hopefully keep moving on.”

It’s been a good run of late for Papachek, who won the North Dakota state stroke play title in Bismarck last month.

The former Fargo South player also won the North Dakota high school state individual title in 2010 as a junior.

He continued that success at college last season, where he earned all-conference honors with the Cobbers.

Papachek credits his recent success to working with Concordia trainer Scott Savor.

“He put me through a lot of workouts and it helped my ball striking and overall consistency,” Papachek said. “My short game has always been pretty good. But I was an average ball striker. Now, I’m probably a good ball striker.”