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Boys Golf: Metz continues brilliance at Preserve

Brainerd Invite Individual key: Gavin Metz fired a fourth-place 75 Team key: Brainerd scored a third-place 317 Next: Brainerd in Section 8-2A first round at Rich Spring Golf Course, Cold Spring, 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 29; Pequot Lakes in Section 8-2...

Brainerd Warrior Erik Stoxen hits off the tee during the Brainerd Invitational at the Preserve at Grand View Lodge Thursday. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch
Brainerd Warrior Erik Stoxen hits off the tee during the Brainerd Invitational at the Preserve at Grand View Lodge Thursday. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

Brainerd Invite

Individual key: Gavin Metz fired a fourth-place 75

Team key: Brainerd scored a third-place 317

Next: Brainerd in Section 8-2A first round at Rich Spring Golf Course, Cold Spring, 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 29; Pequot Lakes in Section 8-2A tournament at Headwaters Golf Course, Park Rapids, 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 30; Staples-Motley hosts Cardinal Invite at Cragun's Legacy Courses Wednesday, May 30

PEQUOT LAKES-There's just something about The Preserve at Grand View Lodge that the Brainerd Warriors don't like.

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All but Gavin Metz.

The junior fired a fourth-place 75 Thursday to lead the Warriors to third place in the Brainerd Invite. Waconia, led by University of Minnesota recruit Connor Glynn's 72, won the event with a 308. Moorhead tied that score for second and Brainerd shot a 317.

Metz opened with a front nine 37 and followed with a 38 on the back. It was at The Preserve last year where Metz qualified for his second state tournament in the Section 8-3A meet. Thursday, with the wind blowing, humidity high and greens rolling like concrete, the easy going Metz played conservatively.

"I just tried to play it below the hole every time," Metz said. "You had to play the break more if you had a downhill putt and you had to get the speed right. I was just playing for pars.

"My game plan was just to hit it out to the 150s. Aim for the middle of the green and then two-putt from there. If I could mix a birdie every once and awhile in there, great."

With sections Tuesday, May 29, at Rich Spring Golf Course in Cold Spring, Metz is confident in his game and in his team, even if his team isn't as confident after Thursday's round.

Cody Evans and Erik Stoxen both shot 79s to finish 15th and 16th, respectively, and Jack Evans fired an uncharacteristic 84 for Brainerd's 317.

"I feel great going into sections," Metz said. "I love that course. I shot 72 and 73 last time I played it and hopefully I can do the same thing. As a team, we had a pretty good season. We know we can win sections and go to state as a team. We just need to do it."

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Despite Thursday's scores Warriors head coach Brian Wallace is confident in his team. He's also glad the section tournament isn't at The Preserve this year.

"I'm extremely confident for them," Wallace said. "I think we're set up to have something really special happen next week. I think our higher scores today will be a lot lower. I think there's some scar tissue from this course from last year's section meet that maybe came into play.

"I'm confident going into Rich Spring in so much that we're not returning to bad memories on this course. Whether or not that played into the scores today, I don't know, but I'm confident next week will shape up really well with playing a different course and one they are confident on."

Metz opened with three straight pars before dropping a birdie on the par 4 fourth. That was followed with a bogey on the fifth and a bogey on the par 3 eighth for his 37. He carded consecutive bogeys on holes 11 and 12 before a birdie on 14 and a bogey on 18 rounded out his non par holes.

Stoxen, fresh off winning the Central Lakes Conference season title, fired nines of 39-40 and Cody Evans shot 38-41.

"I thought they were going to come out and play loose, but we've had such a string of events that have all meant something and this didn't," Wallace said. "They maybe let their guard down a little bit. They maybe got a little too loose with things that they normally wouldn't do if it meant something. I just think that little lack of focus was the difference today."

Luke Tangen's 81 landed him in 24th and led the Pequot Lakes Patriots to 10th. Brodi Olson shot 85 for the Patriots.

Crosby-Ironton finished 15th and Staples-Motley was 16th. S-M's Beck Erholtz fired an 83 for 27th place and Finn Erholtz shot 87.

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The Rangers were led by Cayden Turk's 88 and an 89 from Casey Finnerty. Earlier this year, Turk shot a 75 at The Preserve to win the Mid-State Conference. Finnerty was medalist at Cragun's Legacy Courses Monday.

Team scores: 1-Waconia 308, 2-Moorhead 308, 3-Brainerd 317, 4-Eastview 322, 5-Mahtomedi 324, 6-Detroit Lakes 325, 7-Prior Lake 330, 8-Woodbury 337, 9-Melrose 341, 10-Pequot Lakes 350, 11-Owatonna 352, 12-St. Cloud Apollo/Sauk Rapids 352, 13-Bemidji 355, 14-Holy Angels 356, 15-Crosby-Ironton 359, 16-Staples-Motley 361, 17-Zimmerman 394, 18-Grand Rapids inc.

Individual medalist: Connor Glynn (Wac) 72

Brainerd results: Jack Evans 84, Gavin Metz 75, Erik Stoxen 79, Cody Evans 79, Danny Olson 92, Luke Anderson 94, Evan Quinn 84, Cole Proctor 85, Daniel Johnson 84

Crosby-Ironton results: Cayden Turk 88, Casey Finnerty 89, Colten Turk 90, Carsen Turk 92, Zach Spalj 107, Frank Meyer 94

Pequot Lakes: John Marchwick 92, Brodie Olson 85, Tyler Seeling 93, Henry Neva 92, Luke Tangen 81, Hunter Nybakken 105

Staples-Motley results: Beck Erholtz 83, Finn Erholtz 87, Jack Benson 92, Alex Giz

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