After getting off to a slow start by his standards, Beck Erholtz is heating up.
The Staples-Motley senior has won his last two events with a pair of 70s at Whitetail Run Golf Course in Wadena and his home course of The Vintage Golf Course at Staples. He also carded a second-place 75 at The Preserve at Grand View Lodge, which was one stroke behind Pequot Lakes’ Tyler Seeling.
In his first win at The Vintage, Erholtz birdied the ninth hole to go out in an even-par 35. He played the back nine bogey-free with birdies on 17 and 18 to win by one shot over Seeling.
“Winning on the home course was huge,” Erholtz said. “If there is anyone who should do it it’s probably me since I’ve played there a couple of thousand times.”
At Whitetail Run, an opening birdie on the 500-yard par 5 first hole was the catalyst for another two-under round.
Back-to-back bogeys on holes nine and 10 put Erholtz over par briefly as he birdied three of the next five holes to get to 2-under where he finished two shots ahead of Seeling.
Erholtz and Seeling each have a friendship on and off the course as both are students of Ryan Sharpe at the Chris Foley Golf School. The two were paired together at The Vintage and whenever that happens Erholtz knows it’s match play to see who wins.
“He is a good guy to have out there to push you to make good shots,” Erholtz said. “When I get to play with Tyler, it’s almost like playing match play because it’s all reactionary shots. We are playing shots off each other which is fun.
“We have similar games. From tee to green we do pretty well and then if one of us has a decent putting day that’s when the low numbers start to show.”
Erholtz was really proud of the Cardinals team performances of 318 at Whitetail Run. which was first, and a 309 at The Vintage which was second due to a tiebreaker.
“He’s clearly a leader,” Staples-Motley head coach Glenn Hasselberg said. “We have a young, young team and he’s been working real, real hard with those young kids trying to get them to succeed. He didn’t get off to quite the start he wanted, but he’s doing fine now.”
Erholtz blames his slow start to the season on spending too much of the winter in Arizona.
“Coming back and playing in the cold was a little eye-opening for me,” he said. “Just scraping the ice off my clubs and getting them ready. My game has definitely stepped up the last couple of weeks and I’m feeling good heading into the prime of the season.”
Being the senior leader for a Cardinals team that features mostly underclassmen is important to Erholtz.
“We have these two eighth graders and a tenth grader Isaiah (Schultz) who loves golf and another eighth grader who is our sixth guy and more guys who are pushing to get those spots on varsity,” Erholtz said. “It’s cool. In years past, we haven’t had competition for those who want to play. It’s definitely big when your eighth graders can be your two and three. Then at Wadena, senior Adam (Oberlander) stepped up big with his career-best round.”
Hasselberg said it would be smart for the young Cardinal players to take notice of Erholtz and how he handles himself.
“In terms of what he’s accomplished and what he’s done to get to that point they need to model that,” Hasselberg said.
Erholtz looks to be near the top at state by season’s end.
“I’m just looking for more consistency,” he said. “Can I hit greens? Can I minimize mistakes? Can I miss to the right area? I think the last couple of years it’s been if you don’t make a double bogey out there it’s hard to post a number that’s not reasonable. My mindset is if you are going to make a big score keep it to a bogey.”
Next year, Erholtz will be a North Dakota State University Bison and play golf.
“It’s going to be more golf and it’s going to be guys I really like golfing with as well,” he said. “I think for the first time in my life, I’ll have all these guys on my team who are pushing me to get me to a playing spot there.”
Other notable performances:
Baseball: Logan Olson, Aitkin, struck out 11 and went 2-2 with a double and three RBIs against St. Anthony Village. He also earned the win with six strikeouts against Pequot Lakes.
Hunter Hills, Aitkin, went 4-5 with a triple, double and two RBIs in two games Saturday.
Zach Gwost, Little Falls, finished the week 5-8 with two doubles, five runs and five RBIs.
Zach Shaw, Wadena-Deer Creek, tallied seven RBIs, including a grand slam, and three runs against Pillager. He also went 3-5 with a double and two RBIs against Ottertail Central.
Nic Kotaska, Pequot Lakes, stuck out 11 in a win against Crosby-Ironton.
Jake Ince, Aitkin, went 3-3 for three RBIs and a run against Detroit Lakes.
Landon Janzen, Aitkin, went 2-4 with a home run and a double with five RBIs against Pequot Lakes.
Jeremy Bingesser, Pierz, went 3-3 with three RBIs against St. Cloud Cathedral.
Golf: Lance Otremba, Pierz, won at Greystone Golf Club with a 76.
Tyler Seeling, Pequot Lakes, won at The Preserve at Grand View Lodge with a 74.
Highlights: He won at The Vintage at Staples with a 2-under 70 and at Whitetail Run with a 2-under 70