Boys Golf: Metz returns to state - Warriors finish third

PEQUOT LAKES--Gavin Metz is headed back to state. And while he's glad to return to the state's final tournament, he's not happy. For the second straight year, Metz will have to play Bunker Hills alone as the Brainerd Warriors were unable to mount...

Gavin Metz
Gavin Metz


PEQUOT LAKES-Gavin Metz is headed back to state.

And while he's glad to return to the state's final tournament, he's not happy.

For the second straight year, Metz will have to play Bunker Hills alone as the Brainerd Warriors were unable to mount a charge against first-round leader Alexandria and finished third in the Section 8-3A tournament.

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Section 8-3A

  • Individual highlight: Brainerd's Gavin Metz advanced to state
  • Team highlight: Warriors finish third
  • Next: Class 3A state tournament at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids June 13-14

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Brainerd improved upon its opening-round team score of 317 with a 315 Thursday at The Preserve at Grand View Lodge and Alexandria shot two strokes higher, but Brainerd needed to make up 12 strokes.

"I wanted to shoot low and I needed to shoot in the 70s," said Metz. "I figured I would need to shoot under 75 and hopefully that would qualify me. But mostly I wanted our team to got to state. I wanted all of us to shoot our lowest score."

Metz did his part. The sophomore shot a 2-over 74 to finish with a fourth-place 152. He opened with a 3-over 39 on the front, but dialed it in on the back nine.

He opened with a birdie 3 on the par 4 10th hole. He gave a stroke back on the par 3 13th hole, but a birdie on the par 5 16th helped him shoot a 1-under 35.

Metz actually tied for third with Alexandria's Blake Bloedorn with matching 152s, but a scorecard tiebreaker put Metz in fourth. Both were seven strokes off individual winner Levis Hauser of Willmar, who fired rounds of 73-72 for a 145.

"I'm happy with the way I played today," said Metz. "My putting was a struggle in the first round. Getting used to these greens is really hard. I spent most of my time prior to the round on the putting green. I made some more putts and I made my first birdie of the tournament after 27 holes.


"Overall, I think I played pretty good. I had a couple of missed shots, but I got some back, too."

Consistency was Metz's key, said Warrior head coach Brian Wallace.

"Gavin was really consistent all around the golf course," said Wallace. "He hit the ball well. He never had a big hole. Never had a four putt. He didn't do some of the things that balloon a score. He kept it under control and hats off to him for finishing it off the way he did."

Jack Evans couldn't match his opening-round 76 as the junior captain faltered with Thursday's 82. Evans was never able to get it going after opening his round with a bogey. He shot a 7-over 43 on the front and despite a birdie 3 on the 11th hole still couldn't find momentum. He shot a 3-over 39 on the back to finish in 14th place.

One place back with a matching 158 was younger brother Cody Evans. The freshman shot nines of 39-38 for a 77. After three straight bogeys on 11, 12 and 13, Cody birdied the 15th for his 2-over back nine.

"It wasn't meant to be," said Wallace. "We didn't play well enough to deserve it this year. We'll have to look forward to next year.

"We're going to have to have a long, hard talk on how we need to prepare for next year. We thought we were ready to roll this year and it just didn't work out. We're going to have to reevaluate how to prepare and do the best we can."

Eighth-grader Erik Stoxen shaved off three strokes from his opening-round 85 for an 82 for Brainerd's 315. Stoxen finished 26th. Danny Olson placed 40th and Luke Johnson 45th.


All six Warriors will return next season.

"They will continue to do what they've done to become this good of golfers," said Wallace. "They'll play lots of rounds this summer. They'll play lots of competition and a year from now they'll be that much better and hopefully it's good enough.

"They do the right things. We just need to figure out how to put it all together next year and I think we'll be there. We'll be contenders next year. There's no question."


Team scores: 1-Alexandria 305-207-612, 2-Moorhead 319-311-630, 3-Brainerd 317-315-632, 4-Buffalo 318-326-644, 5-Sartell 322-332-654, 6-St. Cloud Tech 326-335-661

Section champ: Levi Hauser (Willmar) 73-72-145

Brainerd results: 4-Gavin Metz 78-74-152, 14-Jack Evans 76-82 --158, 15-Cody Evans 81-77-158, 26-Erik Stoxen 85-82 --167, 40-Danny Olson 82-91-173, 45-Luke Johnson 85-90-175


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