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Brian Wierima / Forum News Service, Published June 12 2013

Staples-Motley prevails for Class 2A state boys golf title

JORDAN, Minn. – A third Minnesota Class 2A state championship in a row was not in the cards for the Detroit Lakes boys golf team, as Staples-Motley swooped in to win the team title after shooting seven strokes better than the Lakers on Wednesday at The Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Course.

There was very little room for error for the Lakers on Wednesday, as a five-hour rain delay led to the second round being only nine holes.

The Cardinals took a five-stroke lead into the second round and expanded on it Wednesday to clinch the title, with DL finishing as state runners-up.

The Cardinals finished with a 443, and the Lakers had a 450.

“Playing nine holes instead of 18 changed our thought process and added more urgency, because more was riding on each swing,” said junior Michael Herzog, who shot even-par 36 Wednesday for a two-day total of 114. “We just didn’t have enough today, and Staples-Motley played some good golf.”

The Lakers’ two seniors, Karter Smith and Austin Rusness, led the team, with Smith finishing all-state with a seventh-place finish overall at 110. Rusness shot a 113.

“Once again, we started out well and just fell back on some later holes,” Rusness said. “I was 1 under after seven, but finished bad with a double-double.”

The Lakers will have four returning next year, including Herzog, along with sophomores Christian Hedstrom, Ben Mallow and Tanner Schnathorst, who was on last year’s state title team.

Hedstrom finished with a 75-40-115, while Mallow shot a 76-42-118 and Schnathorst an 84-42-126.

“You have to give Staples-Motley credit. They played better than us,” said DL head coach Bob Gorden. “We made a few errors, and they didn’t. Coming into the second round, we needed Staples-Motley to stumble a little, and they didn’t, but we stumbled in our last few holes.”

With Rusness and Smith graduating, it ends two careers that saw four state meets and two state championships.

“We are disappointed because we knew what kind of team we had,” Herzog said. “We wanted to win it for our two seniors, too. They are amazing players and friends.

“But unfortunately, you can’t win them all.”

Smith will be playing Division I golf at Drake University in Iowa.

“We are disappointed, but happy, because this was a great season to be a part of,” Gorden said. “Our two seniors had quite the career here.”

Delano’s Jordan Peters won medalist honors after scoring a 104, while Josh Kummerfeldt of Waseca was second with a 106.

Team scores: Staples-Motley 443, Detroit Lakes 450, Litchfield 454, Hermantown 464, Blake 467, Marshall 469, Rochester Lourdes 481, New Ulm 487.

Top 10 scores: 1, Peters, Delano, 104. 2, Kummerfeldt, Waseca, 106. 3, M. Hagenson, SM, 108. 4 (tie), Becks, H; Leintz, Bagley; Israelson, SM, 109. 7, Smith, DL, 110. 8 (tie), Boe, Byron; T. Hagenson, SM; Bennett, Marshall; McCormick, Breck; Polingo, Litchfield, 111.

Other area finishers

DL: 15, Rusness 113. 17, Herzog 114. 21, Hedstrom 115. 33, Mallow 118. 75, Schnathorst 126.

Fergus Falls: 13, Soydara 112.

Hawley: 38, Cook 119.


Wierima is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune