Section 3A golf: The day belongs to MCC

WORTHINGTON -- There was a decided purple and gray hue at the GreatLIFE Worthington golf course on Wednesday. Golfers wearing the colors of the Murray County Central Rebels stepped up to the leaderboards repeatedly at the conclusion of the Sectio...

3A Golf Jack Pierson web.jpg
Murray County Central golfer Jack Pierson, who placed second overall in the boys Section 3A tournament on Wednesday, chips onto a green at GreatLIFE Worthington. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)



WORTHINGTON -- There was a decided purple and gray hue at the GreatLIFE Worthington golf course on Wednesday. Golfers wearing the colors of the Murray County Central Rebels stepped up to the leaderboards repeatedly at the conclusion of the Section 3A tournament to have ribboned medals lifted over their heads and team trophies placed in their hands.

MCC swept the team championships, earning the right to represent the section in the Minnesota state Class A tournament scheduled for June 12 and 13 at the Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker.

The Rebel girls followed up their 400 on the first day of the two-phase tournament with a 405 on the second day, and their 805 total was well better than second-place Hendricks’ 844. Adrian finished with 877 strokes and Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda had 878.


Abby Hamman, an MCC sophomore who placed 15th at the state tournament a year ago, was the overall medalist with a 172.

Wednesday was sweet for the Murray County Central boys, who saw their five-year run of state tournament team qualifying come to an end last year at the hands of Westbrook-Walnut Grove. In 2018, the Rebel guys earned the right to return to state, led by teammates Tyler Groves and Jack Pierson, who finished 1-2 individually at Worthington with totals of 161 and 163 strokes, respectively.

This year’s state tournament will mark the sixth time Groves, a senior, will be making the trip. It will be the fifth time for Pierson, a junior.

“It definitely wasn’t as fun last year when we went as individuals,” said Pierson. “The school takes more pride when the whole team goes.”

MCC carded a total of 728 strokes in the boys’ tournament, topping Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda which had 765, Adrian with 773 and Westbrook-Walnut Grove with 778. Groves and Pierson will join their teammates at state this year, including Cole Ahlers and Dawson Tutt, who turned in final scores of 184 and 220, respectively, at the section tourney.

Other boys heading to the state tournament are Andrew Quade of Westbrook-Walnut Grove, who placed third in the section with a 179, Payton Marquardt of HL-O/F (4th, 180), Mitchell Veld of Adrian (5th, 183), Corey Renneke of HL-O/F (184) and Jacob Iverson of Wabasso (186).

The Rebel girls joining Hamman at state also include section tournament scorers Cierra Tutt, who placed fifth overall on Wednesday with a 210 total, Amber Boock (211), and Paige Behrends (214).

Individual girl qualifiers are Alexia Kemper of Adrian (2nd overall, 186), Kaylee Johnson of Hendricks (3rd, 190), Tess Van Maanen of Hills-Beaver Creek (tie for 5th, 210), Jennifer Schelhaas of Southwest Christian/Edgerton (212) and Sophie Johnson of Hendricks (212). Brittany Erickson of W-WG finished fourth overall with a 207 but will not be able to attend the state meet.


For Groves and Pierson, another state tournament promises them another chance to climb the leaderboard. A year ago, Groves carded a 167 over two days for 23rd place, and Pierson had a 171 to place 35th.

“I think both of us can place in the top 10, and that’s our goal,” Groves said.

It’s a testament to both of their abilities that they placed 1-2 in the section this year despite having some setbacks.

“I really kinda struggled off the tee to keep it on the fairway,” Pierson said about his second-day Worthington experience. “But I made quite a few big putts. And I made a lot of good chips to keep it close and save par.”

Said Groves: “I struggled off the tee today. I took a triple on the front nine and bounced back.”

As if Wednesday didn’t highlight the purple and gray enough, the Rebels’ head coach, Kim DeLong, was named the Section 3A Coach of the Year. Groves and Pierson said they appreciate what their coach does for the team, handling the mundane tasks so her players can concentrate on golf.

It helps to have a squad that simply loves the game.

“The MCC golf team has always taken great pride in just being on the golf course all year long,” said Groves.



3A Golf Abby Hamman web.jpg
Abby Hamman of Murray County Central watches her putt Wednesday at the Section 3A golf tournament. Hamman was girls medalist. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at
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