Boys Golf: Warriors, Israelson hold on for wins
Pequot Invite Individual medalist: Staples-Motley's Andrew Israelson shot even-par 145 Team winner: Brainerd Warriors with a 609 Next: Staples-Motley at Perham Invite 9:30 a.m. Saturday EAST GULL LAKE--It wasn't Andrew Israelson's best round Frid...
Individual medalist: Staples-Motley's Andrew Israelson shot even-par 145
Team winner: Brainerd Warriors with a 609
Next: Staples-Motley at Perham Invite 9:30 a.m. Saturday
EAST GULL LAKE-It wasn't Andrew Israelson's best round Friday, but it was still better than the majority of prep players.
The Staples-Motley senior followed Thursday's 4-under with a 4-over 76 on the Dutch Course at Cragun's Legacy Courses to finish the two-day Pequot Lakes Invite with an even-par 145.
Also holding onto its huge first-round lead was the Brainerd Warriors team. Brainerd carried a 23-stroke lead into Friday's second round and built it into a 53-stroke victory.
"Obviously a 23-stroke lead is pretty big and we just didn't want to over pressure ourselves," said Brainerd's Andrew Muesing. "We just wanted to calm everyone down and let them know that nobody needed to shoot out of their minds today. Just go out and shoot what we can shoot."
Brainerd's Joe Foley placed second individually with a two-day 149. The senior was followed by fellow senior Muesing who shot a third-place 151. Freshman Gavin Metz placed fifth individually with a two-day 155 and Jack Evans placed sixth with a 156.
Evans, a sophomore, was not a scorer on the deep Warriors team Friday as he shot an 82. Danny Olson's 80 was the fifth score as he shot a 162. Erik Stoxen carded a two-day 169.
The home course for most of the Brainerd players was a considerable advantage, said Muesing.
"I think Dutch's is a lot more straightforward and a lot more fairway to work with than Bobby's," said Muesing. "I didn't have any pressure coming into today. I had Joe shooting low, Jack shooting low. I was kind of that odd third man so I didn't really have too much pressure. I didn't really think about too much. I just wanted to go out and have fun."
Muesing started on the par-4 fifth hole and opened with a birdie, but finished the front nine with back-to-back bogeys. He finished 1-over on the back and closed with a birdie on the par-5 second and two more bogeys for his front nine 38.
"Right now I'm playing very confident," Muesing said. "I'm averaging almost three birdies a round, which is way more than I have any years prior. Right now I'm really confident with my wedge game and my putting."
Israelson opened his second round with a bogey five on the 6,225-yard Dutch Legacy. He birdied the 318-yard par-4 third hole to get back to even. A double bogey on five and a bogey on the par-3 eighth put him at 3-over through the first nine holes.
"I hit the ball subpar for sure," said Israelson. "Around the greens I thought I still played pretty well. I missed a couple opportunities for pars, but without that the score would have been 10 strokes higher easily."
A birdie on the par-5 13th was followed by a bogey on 14 and the senior closed with a bogey on the long 519-yard, par-5 18th for his two-day 145.
"I was feeling a little bit of pressure after nine holes and then I played all the way through at even par on the back until 18," said Israelson. "I made a mistake and hit a pretty good chip and a pretty good putt and it just didn't go in."
Israelson's score coupled with Breck Erholtz's 84 helped the Cardinals to a 14th-place team finish.
The future North Dakota State University player said he's on a mission this season.
"Especially with picking with where to go to college, the opportunities that you have to achieve to get noticed I just kind of want to show some of the people that shied away from me that I can still play," Israelson said. "I want to prove that by playing my best every single tournament."
Moving up to a tie for 12th were the Crosby-Ironton Rangers. Senior Tom Burgstaler shaved three strokes off his opening round to shoot a two-day 167. Brett Midthun and Matt Donovan also dropped a stroke each for C-I's 350 Friday.
Pequot Lakes placed 16th and was once again led by eighth-grader Henry Neva, who carded an 86 Friday for a two-day 174.
Pine River-Backus placed 20th followed by Aitkin in 21st.
Team scores: 1-Brainerd 300-309 - 609, 2-Duluth Marshall 323-339 - 662, 3-Hermantown 323-342 - 665, 4-Monticello 331-337 - 668, 5t-Buffalo 336-338 - 674, 5t-Rosemount 343-331 - 674, 7-International Falls 336-343 - 679, 8t-Fergus Falls 339-342 - 681, 8t-Bemidji 339-342 - 681, 10-East Grand Forks 352-337 - 689, 11-Crookston 348-349 - 697, 12t-Crosby-Ironton 353-350 - 703, 12t-Grand Rapids 353-350 - 703, 14-Staples-Motley 345-360 - 705, 15-Roseau 370-357 - 727, 16-Pequot Lakes 369-363 - 732, 17-Detroit Lakes 366-374 - 740, 18-Thief River Falls 365-376-741, 19-St. Cloud Apollo 391-366 - 757, 20-Pine River-Backus 380-382 - 762, 21-Aitkin 385-390 - 775
Individual medalist: Andrew Israelson (Staples-Motley) 69-76 - 145
Aitkin results: Tom Peterson 94-96 - 190, Nick Smith 97-100 - 197, Sam Sadlowsky 89-WD, Tony Stephani 109-97 - 206, Eli Provost 105-100 - 205, Cody Zebro 119-97 - 216
Brainerd results: 2-Joe Foley 73-76 - 149, 6-Jack Evans 74-82 - 156, 5-Gavin Metz 77-78 - 155, 3-Andrew Muesing 76-75 - 151, Danny Olson 82-80 - 162, Erik Stoxen 79-89 - 168
Crosby-Ironton results: Matt Donovan 89-88 - 177, Tom Burgstaler 85-82 - 167, Brett Midthun 88-87 - 175, Brehndan Knox 91-93 - 184, Cayden Turk 105-97 - 202, Nathan Finnerty 94-99 - 193
Pequot Lakes results: Hunter Clement 93-93 - 186, Henry Neva 88-86 - 174, John Marchwick 94-87 - 181, Ben Golden 112-111 - 223, Max Tangen 94-97 - 191, Cooper Hiles 107-103 - 210
Pine River-Backus results: Nate Brasel 94-94 - 188, Brady Raph 86-92 - 178, Hank Raph 102-97 - 199, Troy Staples 98-99 - 197, Keenan Dahl 111-101 - 212, Beau Broom 119-105 - 224
Staples-Motley results: Andrew Israelson 69-76 - 145, Finn Erholtz 89-101 - 190, Jacob Bendson 104-99 - 203, Beck Erholtz 83-84 - 167, Jack Benson NC-110, Devon Isenberg NC-117
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 855-5856 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .