VIRGINIA- The North Woods boys completely dominated the competition at last week’s 36-hole 7A sectional tournament at Virginia Golf Course and are headed to state on June 15-16.And while the …
VIRGINIA- The North Woods boys completely dominated the competition at last week’s 36-hole 7A sectional tournament at Virginia Golf Course and are headed to state on June 15-16.
And while the Grizzlies girls second-place finish in their sectional tourney, also held in Virginia, wasn’t good enough to send the whole team on to state, North Woods will have a golfer in the field who nailed down an individual qualifying medal.
Crushing the course
The competition on the boys side wasn’t even close, as North Woods locked up the team championship by a whopping 49 strokes over runner-up Walker-Hackensack-Akeley, 625-674.
Three Grizzlies chased after the individual medalist honors, with Ian Olson challenged by Sam Frazee through much of the second round. Olson chalked up rounds of 72 and 78 to win the title with an eight-over-par 150. Frazee followed up an opening 73 with an 81 in the second round to drop back into a tie for second place with Davis Kleppe, who had rounds of 79 and 75.
Eli Smith shot 81-86, 167 to round out the four-man winning total.
Ty Fabish shot a total score of 177 and Brant Buotto carded a 217.
“Ian was steady and didn’t let a few bad shots get him down,” Head Coach Will Kleppe said. “He battled the course well and to come out on top of the section is a tremendous credit to him and the time he has spent on his game. Davis firing a 75 on day two really locked us in. Eli and Ty played some of their best golf of the year which was an ideal time for that to happen.”
But the big story, Kleppe said, was Sam Frazee.
“He suffered an ankle sprain prior to day two competition,” Kleppe said. “We were able to treat it and get him up and moving on it, but he couldn’t play anywhere close to his usual game on Thursday. It would have been understandable for him to withdraw, but he toughed it out because his team needed him. That says a lot for the young man’s character and determination. The whole season flashed before our eyes when I saw him struggle to hit that first tee shot, but he rebounded with a string of pars on the front, and he battled right to the end to secure his place near the top of the leaderboard.”
Tori Olson was well up the leaderboard after ringing up a 94 on the first day of the girls sectional tournament, but it would take something better than that to give her and her team a shot at going to state.
Olson responded with a career-low 87, and while the Grizzlies fell short as a team, Olson’s total of 181 earned fifth place and an invitation to compete solo at state.
“Tori put together two great rounds,” Head Coach Kandi Olson said. “She had a solid first round but knew she would have to shoot lower during the second round to not only help the team, but also to give herself a chance at ending up in the top spots.”
Braham won the four-team tournament by 42 strokes over North Woods, 743 to 785, but Coach Olson was pleased with how her squad competed.
“This year, we knew that we were competing against a team in the field that was older and more experienced, and in the end that team pulled together two great rounds and won,” Olson said. “Our girls battled with them until the end trying to come back from a deficit created the first day. Juniors Haley Bogdan, Morgan Burnett, and Abbi Shuster battled hole-to-hole with tough competition and seventh-grader Lauren Burnett had a great showing for her first time playing under pressure. Freshman Madi Dantes shot some of her best rounds of the year at sections.”
Haley Bogdan put together a 197 for the tournament, followed by Morgan Burnett, 203, Madi Dantes, 204, Abbi Shuster, 234, and Lauren Burnett, 269.
The state tournaments for both boys and girls will be played at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker.