BREEZY POINT — Tyler Seeling had an uncomfortable night's sleep before the Arnold Palmer Invite.
The Pequot Lakes junior was coming off his worst round of the season Monday, May 10, at Bemidji Town and Country Club. It was the first of three big invites and Seeling was reeling.
“I was feeling pretty nervous coming off of an 83 yesterday,” Seeling said. “It was my worst round of the year by far so I was just trying to keep it in play and try and grind something out.
“It was just putting. I had so many putts and it just makes it hard. It was nerve-wracking because we have three meets in a row and that was the first of the three.”
Seeling turned things around quickly Tuesday, May 11 as he captured the individual title with an even-par 72. His old nemesis Beck Erholtz of Staples-Motley was breathing down his throat through 16 holes, but Seeling finished birdie, eagle to distance himself from the field.
“Today it was kind of a little mixture of everything,” Seeling said. “The tee-ball was really good. The putting was still a little shaky, but my irons and my ball striking was really good today.”
The course was set up at 6,067 yards which is shorter than Seeling and Erholtz normally play it and the two took advantage of it. Starting on the back nine, he followed his first bogey with a birdie on the par 5 14th. A double on 16 and a bogey on the 18th had him at 3-over at the turn. Birdies on holes 2 and 3 were followed with bogeys on holes 6 and 7, which forced the tie with Erholtz.
Seeling then birdied eight with a sand save and bombed his drive to within a 9-iron on the 480-yard par 5 ninth hole. Seeling’s approach was close to 10 feet and his putter didn’t fail him on the eagle putt.
“You know I look at this tournament just because it’s so close to my house,” Seeling said. “I’ve played this course so many times. Just knowing this course helps a lot.”
It’s the second win for Seeling near his home as he captured the Mid-Minn Conference meet at Grand View Lodge’s Preserve last week.
“After today the confidence feels better because after yesterday it wasn’t feeling good,” Seeling said. “This previous week was really good for me. It was probably one of the best weeks of my life for my golf career so I’m feeling pretty good.
“It really just comes down to putting because my tee to green has been really good. It just depends on if my putting is on that day.”
While Erholtz didn’t win the battle of No. 1s, he did lead the Staples-Motley Cardinals to victory. Erhotlz finished with a 75 to place second. Adam Oberlander captured his personal best round with a 76 to place third and eighth grader Carter White tied for fifth with a 79.
Eight grader Grant Bestland placed 13th with an 84 to give S-M its 314.
Pequot was second at 322 thanks to a fourth-place 78 from Anthony Armstrong and a ninth-place 81 from Cooper Johnson.
Will Meyer tied for seventh for seventh-place Crosby-Ironton/Aitkin. Richie Varriano also tied for seventh to lead the Little Falls Flyers to sixth place.
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Ryan Kennedy fired an 83 to power the Brainerd Warriors junior varsity to fifth place. Kennedy tied for 11th.
Cole Woods shot 85 to land in 14th and lead Wadena-Deer Creek to ninth place. WDC was Just behind the Pierz Pioneers, who got 85s from Lance Otremba and Logan Herold.
Team scores: 1-Staples-Motley 314, 2-Pequot Lakes 322, 3-Moorhead 340, 4-Bemidji 348, 5-Brainerd 349, 6-Little Falls 353, 7-Crosby-Ironton 356, 8-Pierz 362, 9-Wadena-Deer Creek 383, 10-Pine River-Backus inc
Individual medalist: Tyler Seeling (PL) 72
Brainerd results: Ryan Kennedy 83, Lance Zemke 86, Max Holmstrom 88, Zach Schaeffer 92, Alex Asche 94, Marty Timmons 96
Crosby-Ironton/Aitkin results: Will Meyer 80, Frank Meyer 86, Tyler Bill 92, Brody Bodle 98, Kolbe Severson 103, Luke Severson 109,
Little Falls results: Richie Varriano 80, George Moore 90, Nick Stevens 91, Hayden Johnson 92, Ben Rekstad 93, Cullen Moe 95
Pequot Lakes results: Tyler Seeling 72, Anthony Armstrong 78, Cooper Johnson 81, Ethan Thomas 91, Hunter Nybakken 92, Isaac Seeker 94
Pierz results: Lance Otremba 85, Logan Herold 85, Connor Gotvald 95, Tyler Theis 97, Alex Banick 103, Ethan Theising 106
Pine River-Backus results: Isaiah Aulie 91, Joseph Zaczkowski 92, Ethan Burns 116
Staples-Motley results: Beck Erholtz 75, Adam Oberlander 76, Carter White 79, Grant Bestland 84, Isaiah Schultz 86, Peyton Mithun 91
Wadena-Deer Creek results: Cole Woods 85, Kade Woods 96, Aiden Allred 101, Isaac Christianson 101, Eshetu Loer 105, Cole Berglund 121
Arnold Palmer Invite
Individual highlight: Tyler Seeling finished birdie, eagle to claim the individual title.
Team highlight: Staples-Motley lands three players in the top 10.
Next: Brainerd, Crosby-Ironton/Aitkin, Pequot Lakes in Warrior Invite at The Classic at Madden’s 9 a.m., Wednesday, May 12; Staples-Motley, Wadena-Deer Creek in Mid-State Conference meet at Cuyuna Rolling Hills 1 p.m. Monday, May 17; Little Falls, Pierz in Granite Ridge Conference meet at Spring Brook Golf Course, Mora, 2 p.m. Monday, May 17.