BEA golfers take 5th
The Blue Earth Area Buccaneer boys golf team was in fifth place after the first day of action at the State Golf Tournament and ended up in fifth place after day two was over.
“I’m very proud of the guys today,” Buc coach Travis Armstrong said after the tournament wrapped up last Wednesday. “We did everything we could do to move up the leaderboard, but our opponents were up to the challenge. There was some really good golf played on day two by all of the teams.”
Blue Earth Area shot a team two-day total of 627 for their fifth place finish in the Boys Class AA State Tournament. They were just five strokes behind fourth place finisher Cloquet-Esko’s 622.
In first place was Holy Family Catholic, which carded an even 600. Second was Detroit Lakes with 603 and third was Red Wing at 619.
The Bucs were led by Manning Lane, who shot a two-day total of 151 which put him in a four-way tie for 23rd place. He shot 36-39 the first day and 40-36 the second day.
“Manning did not hit the ball quite as well as he had the day before, but he found a way to get the ball in the hole on Wednesday,” coach Armstrong said. “He has been on an absolute tear since the conference meet. His tie for 23rd place is fantastic for a freshman.”
Hunter Spencer was right behind with a score of 153, 40-39 day one and 40-34 day two. He was in a two-way tie for 30th place.
“Hunter played very well today (Wednesday, day two) with a 34 on his first nine,” Armstrong said. “He played a very smart and consistent round. His 74 finish was his lowest round in competition this year and his best round on that course by five strokes.”
Gaven Bruellman was in sole possession of 57th place with his tourney total of 161, He shot a 42-39 day one and a 41-39 day two.
“Gaven struck the ball much better than at the Section Tournament,” the Buc mentor said. “He had a short stretch on his last nine that elevated his score a bit. I’m proud of his preparation leading up to this tournament. I expect he will be back with a vengeance next season.”
Braden Gudahl was one stroke back of Bruellman with a 162, 43-42 day one and 38-38 day two. That put him in a five-way tie for 58th place.
“Braden was a battler out on the course day two,” Armstrong said. “He was really disappointed in his day one round, but committed to improving his score day two. He began his round a bit slow but got it going on his sixth hole of the day. He hit it to two inches for birdie on the 110 yard par 3, just missing a hole in one. He also birdied his eighth and ninth holes to shoot 38 on his first nine. He cranked it back up later and birdied his 16th and 17th holes of the day as well.”
The Bucs two other varsity players were Ashton Lloyd, 83rd place, with a 187 and Caleb Beeler, 212 for 86th place.
“Ashton was the only middle schooler in the entire tournament, so hopefully it was a great learning experience for him,” coach Armstrong said. “He has the talent to make vast improvements in the coming years, and I expect to see him out on the course a lot this summer. Caleb did not have the tournament he had hoped for, but he was a great teammate all season. When he gets older he will realize that nobody can take this experience away from him.”
The Buccaneer coach said overall the State Tournament was a great experience for the entire team.
“Getting four scores at or below 80 has been our goal all year and the boys picked a fine time to reach that goal,” Armstrong concluded. “And the boys, on day two, set a Blue Earth Area school record for a State Tournament round. I’m proud of them and what they have accomplished.”