BEA’s Aukes in shootout
The USC Rebels boys golf team won the Section 2A title and earned a trip to the State Golf Tournament this week, June 12 and 13, at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker.
The Rebels shot a 320 team score to gain the Section trophy.
The team was led by Ryan Pederson who shot a 76, despite a triple bogey on the last hole.
Nate Pederson shot a 78 and Nick Neubauer and Seth Olson both shot identical 83s.
The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers are sending a lone representative to the State Class AA Golf Tournament, also on June 12 and 13, at The Ridges at Sand Creek at Jordan.
The Buc’s Andy Aukes qualified for the State for the second time, but it was not as smooth a ride as last year.
In fact, it got to be downright thrilling.
Aukes started his day with a double bogey on the first hole, but collected himself to play the other eight holes at even par, giving him a 38 on the front nine. On the back nine, he had five pars, but also four double bogeys, to end the day with an 82.
With half the field of golfers, Aukes had to start waiting for the scores to come in.
He was in second place at one time, but dropped to a three-way tie for fourth with only the top five moving on to the State Tournament.
Aukes and a player from Mankato East bogeyed the first playoff hole, while a player from Jordan grabbed the fourth tournament spot by getting a par.
The two remaining players moved on to battle for the fifth and final spot.
Aukes crushed a three wood off the tee, chipped to within eight feet of the hole and dropped the birdie putt, while his opponent settled for par.
That gave the Buccaneer the fifth spot and the green light to move on.
The Bucs’ other qualifier for the Section Tournament, Zach Curtis, had a tougher day. He came in with a score of 101, tied for 41st place.
“He was a bit nervous,” says Buc coach Travis Armstrong. “But, that is to be expected from a freshman. By the end of the day he was back to being the Zach I had become accustomed to.”
Curtis chipped in for birdie on the 15th hole and played the last four holes only two over par.
“He gained some valuable experience and learned a lot about dealing with pressure,” Armstrong comments. “I think today’s experience definitely made him a better golfer.”