State golf: Herding second, Christensen third
BECKER — Westbrook-Walnut Grove sophomore Abby Herding fired rounds of 44 strokes for an 88 Wednesday at the Class A state golf tournament at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker, finishing with 168 strokes for second place in the girls’ standings.
Murray County Central junior Adam Christensen placed third in the boys’ standings, finishing with a 152 — just two strokes off the champion’s pace.
Herding, who tied for seventh overall in last year’s Class A tourney, had an 18-hole total of 80 strokes (40-40) on Tuesday. On Wednesday, she finished nine shots off the score of the medalist, Christine Piwnica of Southwest Christian-Chaska, who finished with a 159.
Christensen, like Herding, improved his standing from a year ago, when he tied for 18th. He had a 37-39 — 76 on Tuesday, then on Wednesday rounds of 39 and 37 for another 76.
Brock Bliese of Mounds Park Academy, an eighth-grader, was boys’ medalist with a 150. Cordell Weber, a senior from Martin County West, was second with 151.
The Windom Area girls placed fourth among the eight competing Class A teams. Legacy Christian Academy won the team title with a 718, followed by BOLD with 732, Fillmore Central 733, Windom Area 740, Badger/Greenbush-Middle River 768, United South Central 810, Ottertail Central 841 and Barnum 911.
Windom Area was fourth after Tuesday, but just 15 strokes out of first.
The Murray County Central boys finished seventh. Dawson-Boyd won the boys team crown with 660, followed by United South Central 675, Legacy Christian Academy 679, Mille Lacs 685, Ottertail Central 692, Kittson County Central 693, Murray County Central 702 and Lewiston-Altura 704.
MCC also competed in last year’s Class A boys tournament, finishing second.
In Class AA at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan, Worthington Trojans junior Will Mulder fired a 43 and 44 Wednesday for 87 strokes, finishing with 173 overall in his first state tournament appearance. Mulder, who shot 46 and 40 (86) on Tuesday, finished in a tie for 75th place in the boys’ AA standings.
“It was a little rough starting out, just like yesterday,” Mulder said Wednesday night.
Providence Academy of Plymouth won the team boys’ championship with 602 strokes, followed by Section 2AA titleist Marshall, with a 612. Mitch Pfingsten of Fairmont tied for fifth place individually with 146 strokes. Marshall was led by Matt Bennett with 150, tied for 16th place.
On the girls’ side, Windom Area got a strong effort from senior Kelsey Hanefeld, who finished in a tie for seventh in the individual standings with a 172. She shot rounds of 40 and 45 strokes on Wednesday.
Teammate Leigh Hanefeld finished with 183, good for 19th place, after shooting scores of 43 and 48 on Wednesday. Another Eagle, Maitland Vollan, finished in a tie for 23rd with a 185.
Windom Area’s Emily Jackson placed in a tie for 51st with a 200. Two more Eagles, Miki Bolin and Marissa Cartwright, finished in a tie for 55th, each with 202 strokes.
Grant Everson complemented Christensen’s score for MCC with a 19th-place final score of 165 strokes. He followed up Tuesday’s 83 with an 82 on Wednesday, with rounds of 40 and 42 strokes.
Windom Area’s Dylan Pigman finished tied for 26th with a 168. Mountain Lake Area’s Aaron Walzak tied for 28th with a 169 and Adrian’s Ben Henning finished in the same spot with a 169 of his own.
Windom Area’s Kyle Antes shot a 179 and tied for 53rd. MCC golfers Tyler Groves had a 187 (tied for 65th), Jaden Boerboom 198 (tied for 79th), Jack Pierson 214 (85th) and Brad Schreiber 219 (86th).
The most difficult obstacle on the second day of the Class AA tournament, said Mulder, was the placement of the pins. Small landing areas that required precise accuracy with irons caused problems.
Mulder said his wedge and short iron shots were better than they were on Tuesday, but getting on the green was only part of the battle.
“With the pins placed like they were, today was tough,” he said. “Putting was a challenge.”
Even so, 2014 represented a giant stride for the WHS junior. Prior to this year, he hadn’t even advanced to a section tournament.
“It was really a good experience,” Mulder said about his state meet. “I really liked being there. I’m just going to try to play well again next year. Hopefully I can get back to state next year and play a little better.”