Marshall boys’ golf team wins in Jordan; girls 7th at Rosemount

The Marshall boys’ and girls’ golf teams battled the same cold, windy conditions at different locations Saturday and both squads fought through them admirably.

Wrapping up a two-day invitational at the Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan, the Marshall boys’ golf team easily maintained its Day 1 lead and shot a 321 Saturday for a two-round total of 633. Matt Bennett followed up his even-par round of 72 on Friday with a 76 on Saturday to finish at 4-over for the tournament and claimed medalist honors. His Tigers placed 41 strokes ahead of runner-up New Ulm in the nine-team competition.

The Tiger girls didn’t finish as high on the leaderboard at their one-day tournament in Rosemount, but head coach Nancy Blanchard was proud of how her squad performed on its way to a seventh-place finish in an eight-team field. Facing all Class AAA teams, the Class AA Tigers shot a 386. Edina won the event with a 349.

Jessica Blanchard led the Marshall girls with a ninth-place finish thanks to her round of 88. Hanna Peterson shot a 95, Kirsten Webskowski shot a 96 and Laura Mitlyng contributed to the Tigers’ cause with a 107.

With winds whipping on a frigid day, Nancy Blanchard said her golfers shot about as well as she could have hoped.

“I was very, very pleased with their scores. They battled hard,” she said. “Allie (Pogatchnik) and Laura would like to have their scores back a little bit, but overall, under those conditions, anything under 100 was really pretty good.”

Red Wing eighth-grader Stephanie Herzog was the medalist of the competition with a 12-over 84. Nancy Blanchard said it was tightly packed at the top of the leaderboard and she was happy to see one of her golfers right there.

“I’m very proud of her, very pleased with her play,” Nancy Blanchard said of Jessica Blanchard. “She was only four shots out of first, one out of fifth. For her to finish in the top 10 was just outstanding. The gal from Red Wing and a girl from Edina were both ranked in the top 10 in AAA.”

The Tiger boys saw multiple players finish at the top of the leaderboard in Jordan. Along with Bennett’s win, Marshall also had the tournament’s runner-up as Brent Haukom defeated Byron’s Jacob Boe in a playoff to take second place. Haukom improved on his Day 1 score of 79 with a 3-over 75 on Saturday. Holes four through six had given him problems the previous day, but he avoided the big numbers during that stretch Saturday and played it 1-over Saturday.

Rounding out the top four scores for the Tigers were Alex Buysse (81-84 165) and Jacob Baker (80-86 166), who was playing the course for the first time during the tournament.

Marshall boys’ head coach Allen Lucht said the conditions were “ferocious” on Saturday with wind gust up to 40 miler per hour and “cold-as-ice” temperatures. The way which his golfers overcame those conditions was the reason they came out on top, Lucht said.

“I think we handled it better than the other teams, and our top two golfers just started to ignore it as they went about their round,” he said.

“With wind like that, if you hit the ball solid it’s not going to go off line very much. But if you hit it off line, the wind moves it twice as much or more. The key is to make sure you complete the swing in those conditions. If you hit it pure, the ball won’t move that much.”

The Tiger golf teams are both in for a busy week this week, which is the last week of school at MHS. Both teams play the same schedule for the first three events, going to Pipestone today, Luverne Tuesday and St. Cloud Wednesday. On Friday the Marshall girls’ team heads to Hutchinson, and on Saturday the boys’ team is at Owatonna.