Albert Lea boys, New Ulm girls win Worthington Invitational
WORTHINGTON -- When Albert Lea's Sam Matheson woke up Saturday morning, he wasn't sure that the Tiger golf team would be making the trip to the Worthington Invitational.
Even on a windy, wet day, Matheson fired a 77 and defeated teammate Grant Stadheim for medalist honors.
"I played pretty good," Matheson said. "I started off and birdied the first two holes that I played. I played pretty good on the back. I made a birdie and a couple of bogeys and shot one over."
Stadheim also fired a 77 as Albert Lea finished with a 322 as a team to capture the boys' side of the invite at Worthington Country Club.
Playing at Prairie View, the New Ulm girls carded a 405 to finish first.
The Eagles were led by Sam Bergman, who fired an 80 on the day.
"I was absolutely flabbergasted that Sam Bergman shot that 80," Worthington head coach Ron Wood said. "That is absolutely an unbelievable score. I've already seen her shoot a 79 in Marshall, so this wasn't a fluke. She's an unbelievably strong golfer from New Ulm."
After Albert Lea's 322 as a team, Windom finished second with a 327, followed by Redwood Valley with a 333.
Fairmont finished fourth with a 346, while Luverne (359), Worthington (377), Round Lake-Brewster (398), New Ulm (401), Southwest Christian (405) and Pipestone Area (333) rounded out the 10-team tournament.
"For us, it was important not to finish last," Wood said. "It was important to start making some moves up, and we finished right in the middle of the pack."
Ryan Radloff led the Trojans with an 80, and just missed out on being the fifth place medalist.
"I played pretty well, but there were things I could have done better -- I could have chipped and putted better," Radloff said. "It was really windy and really wet. It was a little difficult, but it worked out."
Windom's Tate Lindvall also fired an 80 and edged Radloff on the handicap hole.
"On the men's' side, this was a breakout day for us," Wood said. "This is the first time that we have been below 400. We shot 377 and Ryan Radloff shot an 80. He lost fifth medalist position on a card look. Basically, he knows where he made a couple of mistakes and knows he could have been there."
Redwood Valley's Derek Baune finished fourth with a 79 to lead the Cardinals, while Windom's Jordan Stahl fired a 78 to finish third.
"The wind got to me on the back nine," Stahl said. "The par 4s got to be really long out there. The par 4s get at you when you don't hit many greens and you have to rely on your short game a little bit."
After starting on the first hole, Stahl finished the front nine with a 36, but finished six shots higher on the back nine with a 42.
"The front nine, I had a lot of good par saves. I didn't hit a lot of greens, but I still got up and down," Stahl said. "Towards the end of my round I started to not make as many putts as I should have and it went downhill a little bit."
Despite heavy rains on Friday, sunshine and wind helped dry the course during the players' rounds.
"It started off and it was quite chilly, but as the day went on it got warmer and the sun came out," Matheson said.
Up until the last minute, Wood wasn't sure that the tournament would go on as planned.
"I was a little stressed out (Friday) night when it was still pouring down rain in the middle of the night and I hear my windows rattling with the wind," Wood said. "But Saturday I said that the sun is out and we're going to play."
Besides Stahl's 78 and Lindvall's 80, Windom's Hunter Johnson fired an 83, Jared Heger shot an 86 and Adam Eisenmenger finished with a 97.
Luverne's Skyler Hoiland fired an 87 to lead the Cardinals, while teammate Ben Nath fired an 88. Daniel Hue finished with a 90, while Tim Connell (94) Dylan Skattum (97) and Brandon Klein (97) rounded out the team scores for Luverne.
Brady Barrie finished with a 91 for Worthington, while Scott Simpson finished with a 102. Matt Yager finished with a 104, while Evan Almberg (108) and Evan Peterson (113) finished out the scoring for the Trojans.
For Round Lake-Brewster, Tim Haberman had the low round with a 90, while Erik Bourquin finished with a 95. Craig Correll finished with a 102, while Cole Baumgard fired a 111.
SWC's Kaiser DeKam fired a 93 to lead the Eagles, while Dustin Oberoh finished with a 97. Kyle DeBoer finished with a 107, while Philip Keikema finished with a 108, Austin Spronk fired a 114 and Bryce Schelhaas carded a 119.
For PA, Tate VanRoekel finished with a 98 and Aaron Kozlowski fired a 99. Stephen Gentzler finished with a 103, while John Langholz and John Bush each carded a 111. Josh Haubrich finished with a 123.
After Bergman and New Ulm, it was the Luverne Cardinals that finished second with a 407 as a team.
Krista VanDyk fired a 92 to lead the Cardinals, while Kaia Nowatzki shot a 98, as only five players were under the century mark.
"I think the scores on the girls' side today reflect very much the conditions," Wood said. "There wasn't a score below 400, it was just a brutal day today."
Marshall fired a 417 to finish third, while Fairmont's 432 placed the Cardinals fourth. Pipestone Area finished with a 451, while Worthington fired a 453.
For the Trojans, Leigh VanHove finished with a 99, including an eagle on No. 12.
"For us, quite honestly, we had some good scores and we had some bad scores," Wood said. "But where I'm seeing some real improvement is Leigh VanHove. Every match over the last three our four, we've seen her get stronger. I am real pleased with how she is playing."
Kendall Spartz fired a 106 for the Trojans, while Jenn Scholtes (123), Megan Meier (125) and Allison Jaycox (130) rounded out the scoring for Worthington.
Emaliegh Vreeman was one of two SWC golfers to compete, and fired a 97 for the Eagles. Jenni VanderVeen shot a 120 for SWC.
Luverne, which finished two shots behind New Ulm, had VanDyk's 92 and Nowatzki's 98, but also had solid rounds from Jessica Dorhout (108), Erika Rust (109), Missy Olson (111), and Lexy Kindt (127).
PA finished with a 451 as a team, and finished just ahead of the Trojans for fifth place.
Katherine Newhouse fired a 107, while Kayla Nelson finished with a 112. Lynn Nelson finished with a 113, while Megan Sommers (119) and Bailey Wolters (124) rounded out the Arrows team.
Worthington will travel to Redwood Valley Friday, before heading to Fairmont Saturday.
"I'm just hopefully that we play one tournament that's warm, and that's next Saturday," Wood said. "I'd like to have one where the kids are in short sleeves and they can swing without feeling like they have 10 tons on their back."