Boys Golf: Warriors win Presection
Presection 8-3A Individual highlight: Gavin Metz led Warriors with third-place 74 Team highlight: Warriors secured a 2-stroke victory Next: Brainerd PEQUOT LAKES--Gavin Metz and the Brainerd Warriors were eight strokes away from a free dinner Thu...
Individual highlight: Gavin Metz led Warriors with third-place 74
Team highlight: Warriors secured a 2-stroke victory
PEQUOT LAKES-Gavin Metz and the Brainerd Warriors were eight strokes away from a free dinner Thursday.
Metz still came away from the Presection 8-3A meet at The Preserve at Grand View Lodge with some hardware as the Warrior shot a third-place 74 to lead Brainerd to a 2-stroke victory.
Jack Evans was fifth with a 75. Erik Stoxen placed seventh with a 78 and Danny Olson was one stroke away from the top 10 with an 80 handing Brainerd a 307. Or, where Metz is concerned, eight strokes from a free dinner.
"Our goal always is to break 300," said Metz. "If we do that, then we get a free dinner. Coach has to pick up the check."
Warriors head coach Brian Wallace would be happy to do that later in the month when this tournament counts. And, if Metz continues to shoot like he did Thursday, it might happen.
Last year's state tournament participant shot an even-par 36 on the front with birdies on the par 5 first hole and and the 373-yard, par-4 seventh. Metz opened the back nine with back-to-back bogeys. Birdies on the par-5 16 and par-5 18th sandwiched a double on the par-3 17th.
"The course was good," Metz said. "My putting was working. I putted way better. I didn't have a single three-putt today. With the speed of the greens today, I knew I had to play short of the hole and make sure I had an uphill putt every time."
Evans was medalist of last year's presection. He was fine with not repeating as it didn't bring him any luck in last year's Section 8-3A tournament as he just missed advancing to state for a second straight year.
Evans started his round on the third hole and proceeded to bogey four of his first five holes. A birdie 2 on the 180-yard, par-3 eighth helped him shoot 39 on the front. Evans shot even-par 36 on the back with birdies on 11 and 18.
Stoxen, an eighth-grader, fired matching 39s on his nines. He did birdie the par-5 sixth and par-4 12th. He said the greens were about halfway to being what he expects them to be in late May.
For the next four weeks, that speed is what Brainerd will be working toward.
"I forced the guys to create a mental plan and then write it down," said Wallace. "They did that (Wednesday) night. I'm not sure if it made any difference, but it's good to have a plan when you're going into an event like this. I know they were nervous going into it. But the boys do know the course well enough to make that plan. It's just going out and making it happen.
"The main difference of the course from now until sections will be the speed of the greens. Given four more weeks, and that much more time to groom the greens, they'll be even faster than what they were today. That will be key, keeping 3-putts to a minimum or zero."
Cody Evans shot nines of 39 and 41. His biggest hiccup came on the par-4 14th where he carded a triple bogey, but he answered with a birdie on 16 and closed out the back with pars.
The Section 8-3A meet was played at Greystone in Sauk Centre last year and, aside from one year at Perham, had been the site for at least 10 previous years.
The move to The Preserve is a welcome change for Metz.
"We are glad the section tournament will be here," Metz said. "I'm kind of used to it. I don't play out here that often, but it's a fun course and I really like to play it.
"As a team, we just need a solid five and six guy. If they can shoot in the 70s, I think we'll be able to win the section."
Team scores: 1-Brainerd 307, 2-Alexandria 309, 3-Moorhead 314, 4-Sartell 325, 5-Buffalo 327, 6-Bemidji 330, 7-Willmar 341, 8-St. Cloud Tech 342, 9-Monticello 346, 10-Big Lake 373, 11-St. Cloud Apollo 382, 12-Sauk Rapids 428
Individual medalist: Noah Borass (Alex) 71
Brainerd results: Jack Evans 75, Gavin Metz 74, Erik Stoxen 78, Danny Olson , Cody Evans 80, Luke Johnson 90, Luke Anderson 83, John Lyonais 93