Tiger boys’ take first, girls’ second in golf opener

Nearly three weeks after their season was supposed to begin, the Marshall boys’ and girls’ golf teams finally teed off on 2013 at a triangular in Jackson on Friday.

The Marshall boys shot 159 as a team and bested Windom by 20 strokes and Jackson County Central by nine, while the Tiger girls fell eight strokes shy of Windom in the 9-hole event with a team score of 202.

“It was good to get outside, but it would have been better had we been able to play once (before),” Marshall girls’ golf head coach Nancy Blanchard said. “But we’ll take it when we can get it. We had a really nice day to play golf. We didn’t have any rain or wind to make it even more difficult.

“I think we left a few shots out on the golf course, but we should get a little better than this as we go.”

Neither Marshall team had been able to play a practice round, much less golf in competition, so far this season but still managed strong showings.

Matt Bennett paced the boys’ team with a 38, while Alex Buysse and Jacob Baker were just behind him with scores of 39. Brent Haukom’s 6-over-par 43 rounded out the scoring for the Tigers.

“I wasn’t real happy with the scores today,” Marshall boys’ golf head coach Allen Lucht said. “The kids know what they need to work on. We haven’t had much time to practice chipping or putting, anything around the green. I’m looking for the scores to improve.”

It was much of the same for the girls’ team, who took second at the three-team meet.

Sophomore Jessica Blanchard led the Tigers with a 46, while Hannah Peterson was second on the team with a 50. Seniors Ali Pogatchinik and Laura Mitlyng completed the counting scores with identical scores of 53.

“I think it’s a little bit of everything,” Blanchard said. “We’ve been hitting off of a mat and doing that. Of course those are perfect lies, so now you’re going to get something that isn’t so perfect. Pitching, chipping, reading the speed of the greens; we’ll get better at all that as we get outside.”

Both teams will be back in action on Tuesday as Marshall plays host to New Ulm and Murray County Central at Marshall Golf Club.