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Boys Golf: Warriors dominate Day One of Pequot Invite

Pequot Invite First-round leader: Andrew Israelson shot 69 First-round team leader: Brainerd Warriors hold 23-stroke lead Next: Aitkin, Brainerd, Crosby-Ironton, Pequot Lakes, Staples-Motley in Day Two of Pequot Lakes Invite at Cragun's Legacy Co...

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Pequot Invite

First-round leader: Andrew Israelson shot 69

First-round team leader: Brainerd Warriors hold 23-stroke lead

Next: Aitkin, Brainerd, Crosby-Ironton, Pequot Lakes, Staples-Motley in Day Two of Pequot Lakes Invite at Cragun's Legacy Courses 10 a.m. Friday.

EAST GULL LAKE-Only 10 players finished in the 70s Thursday and five of them were wearing the Blue and White of the Brainerd Warriors.

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The Warriors, who have already won two Central Lakes Conference meets this season, shot 300 at Cragun's Legacy Courses to claim a 23-shot lead heading into Day Two of the Pequot Lakes Invite.

Only one player broke 70 and that was Staples-Motley's Andrew Israelson, who fired 34-35 to finish with a 4-under-par 69 on the par-73 Bobby's Course. The senior finished with four birdies and no bogeys on a course that dominated him last year.

"I vividly remember last year and I knew what not to do today," said Israelson. "That helped a lot. I knew how to play a couple of the holes that I've only played a few times before. It was nice to remember that round. I learned from my mistakes."

Despite cold temperatures and gusting winds, Israelson said the weather didn't play much of a factor in how he attacked the course.

Israelson's score combined with seventh-grader Beck Erholtz's 83 and freshman Finn Erholtz's 89 helped S-M to a 345 to land in 10th place after round one.

Israelson, the Class 2A state champion as a sophomore, said he'll look to back up Thursday's round with another low score on the Dutch Legacy.

"I just want to win," Israelson said. "Winning is the only motivation I need. I'm working on a lot of short-game things. That's really going to be the factor in my game this year. I know I'm going to miss shots out there.

"I missed a fair share of shots today, but I just have a lot more confidence this year than I did last year at this time. That is a key factor for getting those missed shots up and down for par."

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Brainerd's Joe Foley isn't putting any pressure on himself heading into Friday's final round. The senior fired an even-par 73 Thursday.

"I just hit the ball well," Foley said "I simplified my game and didn't worry about hitting draws or cuts. I just worried about the shot at hand and for the most part I was present the whole day."

He started out with back-to-back bogeys and proceeded to card four birdies on the next six holes to shoot a front-nine 34. Foley fired seven pars and two bogeys on the back nine for a 39.

"I just wanted to come out and execute my game plan and hit solid shots," Foley said. "I really wanted to eliminate 3-putting by getting the ball to a foot of the hole. For the most part I did that today. I had one 3-putt today on 18, but I had an 80-footer to the pin so it was a legit 3-putt. I didn't get too high and I didn't get too low as I have in the past. I just played steady the whole day."

As for Foley's goal Friday: "I know I'm going to be OK. My mom is still going to love me at the end of the day."

Foley's teammate Jack Evans shot 1-over 74. CLC's leading golfer so far this season struggled on the front nine with a 3-over 39, but shot 2-under on the back. Last year's Class 3A state tournament participant opened the back with a bogey 6 to fall 4-over, but finished with three birdies on the last eight holes.

Senior Andrew Muesing shot 76 and freshman Gavin Metz 77 for Brainerd's 300. The Warriors didn't even need to count an impressive 79 from seventh-grader Erik Stoxen. The varsity rookie would have been the low scorer on 14 of the 21 teams in the field. Even Danny Olson's 82 would have scored on every other team.

"We have a ton of confidence, but we still have a ton of work to do, though," said Foley. "There is still a lot of the season ahead."

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The Crosby-Ironton Rangers finished 13th and were led by Tom Burgstaler's 85, Brett Midthun's 88 and Matt Donovan's 89.

Host Pequot Lakes placed 17th with eighth-grader Henry Neva shooting an 88.

Pine River-Backus was 18th and led by Brady Raph's 86.

Sam Sadlowsky's 89 led Aitkin to 20th place.

Day 1 team scores: 1-Brainerd 300, 2t-Hermantown 323, 2t-Duluth Marshall 323, 4-Monticello 331, 5t-International Falls 336, 5t-Buffalo 336, 7t-Fergus Falls 339, 7t-Bemidji 339, 9-Rosemount 343, 10-Staples-Motley 345, 11-Crookston 348, 12-East Grand Forks 352, 13-Crosby-Ironton 353, 14-Grand Rapids 353, 15-Thief River Falls 365, 16-Detroit Lakes 366, 17-Pequot lakes 369, 18-Pine River-Backus 380, 19-Roseau 370, 20-Aitkin 385, 21-St. Cloud Apollo 391

First-round leader: Andrew Israelson (Staples-Motley) 69

Aitkin results: Tom Peterson 94, Nick Smith 97, Sam Sadlowsky 89, Tony Stephani 109, Eli Provost 105, Cody Zebro 119

Brainerd results: Joe Foley 73, Jack Evans 74, Gavin Metz 77, Andrew Muesing 76, Danny Olson 82, Erik Stoxen 79

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Crosby-Ironton results: Matt Donovan 89, Tom Burgstaler 85, Brett Midthun 88, Brehndan Knox 91, Cayden Turk 105, Nathan Finnerty 94

Pequot Lakes results: Hunter Clement 93, Henry Neva 88, John Marchwick 94, Ben Golden 112, Max Tangen 94, Cooper Hiles 107

Pine River-Backus results: Nate Brasel 94, Brady Raph 86, Hank Raph 102, Troy Staples 98, Keenan Dahl 111, Beau Broom 119

Staples-Motley results: Andrew Israelson 69, Finn Erholtz 89, Jacob Bendson 104, Beck Erholtz 83

St. Cloud Apollo results: Tyler Coleman 96, Logan Weis 88, Jake Fujan 104, Tom Pekarna 103

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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