Casey Finnerty proved to be the most consistent of the five area boys golfers in the opening round of the Class 2A State Tournament Tuesday, June 11, at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan.
The Crosby-Ironton junior shot a 7-over 79 in his first ever state round to find himself seven shots off the first-round lead and in a tie for 25th.
Finnerty was one of the few players to shoot par or better on the 530-yard opening hole. A birdie on the 404-yard eighth hole helped offset four bogeys on the front.
"Casey had real good control of his swing and real good control of the golf ball," C-I head coach Rich Aulie said. "His short game was also very good. In fact, his putting was good.
"On the first hole, he was just short of the green in two, but his third shot he hit to the back of the green. He had a putt that was, it was a two-level green, and he was putting from the top to the bottom level and he barely got the ball started and hit the top of the slope and coasted down maybe a foot from the hole. It was a pretty phenomenal putt. I could tell right away he had pretty good feel for the greens."
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Class 2A State Golf
- Boys team leader: Holy Family Catholic leads by 7
- Boys individual leader: Rochester Lourdes' Kyle Hickey shot even-par 72
- Girls team leader: Minnewaska holds a 6-stroke lead
- Girls individual leader: Red Wing's Sophia Yoemans shot 3-under 69
- Area highlights: Crosby-Ironton's Casey Finnerty opens with a 79
- Next: Class 2A State Tournament at Ridges at Sand Creek, Jordan, 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 12
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A birdie 3 on the 12th hole was sandwiched between four pars, before finishing off with a bogey and two doubles for a back nine 40.
"He just got a little quick and a little out of sync on the last two holes," Aulie said. "He was actually, 3-over-par with a par 3 and a par 5 left and they aren't the hardest holes out there. He had a good chance to really put a little number up, but he just got a little quick.
"He was really disappointed with finishing double, double, but I told him for the first time at state he did a really good job."
Pequot Lakes' Tyler Seeling didn't look like a state tournament rookie either. The freshman shot a first nine 39 despite bogeying his first three holes. He turned things around with a birdie 3 on the 13th hole, his fourth hole, and got back to 1-over with a birdie 2 on the 104-yard 15th hole.
Seeling gave both shots back with bogeys on 16 and 18 for his 39.
Three bogeys and a double bogey on the ninth, his last, pushed his back nine to 41 for an 8-over 80. He's tied for 29th.
A quad 8 on the par 4 ninth hole had Beck Erholtz going out in 44. But the Staples-Motley sophomore regrouped and shot 1-over 37 on the back nine to fire a 9-over 81.
Erholtz birdied 13 and 16 and made par on the final two holes to land in a tie for 35th.
Also in that group is Pequot Lakes junior Henry Neva.
Neva found himself 3-over-par after two holes, but a birdie three on his third hole, the 343-yard 12th hole, got the junior back on track. He rattled off three more pars before a double bogey on the 16th pushed him to a 40 on his first nine.
He opened his back nine with a double, but rebounded with a birdie 2 on the third hole, his 12th of the round. Neva struggled down the stretch with a 41 for his 9-over 81.
Ethan Ballou opened with a bogey 6 on the first hole and never recovered. He added a triple on the par 3 fifth hole to shoot 42 going out.
The Flyers senior shot 43 on the back for his 13-over 85. He struggled with two double bogeys and three bogeys to go with four pars.
Fellow Flyer Abby Turkowski shot an opening round 83 in her first ever state tournament. The eighth grader opened with a 41 on her opening nine. She was three over after six, but a triple bogey on her seventh hole had her sitting at 6-over. Turkowski then birdied the par 3 17th and closed out the first nine with a par.
She rattled off three straight bogeys and made bogey on five of her first six holes on the back, but landed another birdie on the 294-yard eighth hole, her 17th, to get back to 9-under. A double on the final hole had her closing out with an 11-over round. She sits in 21st place alone.
S-M's Adriana Dickey shot nines of 49-48 for her 97. The Cardinal freshman made two pars.
Boys Team scores: 1-Holy Family Catholic 310, 2-Detroit Lakes 317, 3-Hill Murray 325, 4-Cloquet 325, 5-Blue Earth 329, 6-Red Wing 331, 7-St. Cloud Cathedral 336, 8-Jackson County 345
First-round leader: Kyle Hickey (Rochester Lourdes) 72
Crosby-Ironton results: 25t-Casey Finnerty 79
Little Falls results: 59t-Ethan Ballou 85
Pequot Lakes results: 29t-Tyler Seeling 80, 35t-Henry Neva 81
Staples-Motley results: 35t-Beck Erholtz 81
Girls Team scores: 1-Minnewaska 313, 2-Red Wing 319, 3-Detroit Lakes 325, 4-Jordan 351, 5-International Falls 357, 6-Visitation 376, 7-Albany 383, 8-Providence Academy 399
First-round leader: Sophia Yoemans (Red Wing) 69
Little Falls results: 21-Abby Turkowski 83
Staples-Motley results: 64t-Adriana Dickey 97