Marshall boys’ golf team gets 3rd in Owatonna

The Marshall boys’ golf team got in one final event before today’s Southwest Conference tournament, taking part in an 11-team invite in Owatonna on Saturday. The Tigers’ score of 321 put them in third place in a competitive field.

Owatonna won on its home course with a score of 307 and Bloomington Jefferson was second, three strokes back. Marshall’s 321 put the Tigers 13 strokes clear of fourth-place Prior Lake.

Marshall boys’ head coach Allen Lucht said it was the best finish his team has had since he’s been taking his golfers to the tournament over the past five seasons.

The Tigers were coming off of one of their best performances of the season on Thursday when they won the St. Cloud Invitational with a score of 305. Lucht wasn’t unhappy with how his golfers shot Saturday, but he felt they were capable of going lower.

“The course was pretty wet, and I won’t make excuses for the kids because I think they could have played better than that but that course was a pretty good one to play,” Lucht said. “There were a lot of elevation changes to the greens and the greens were tough to hit.

“We didn’t play real bad or anything, but not really good either.”

Like they’ve been much of the season, the Tigers were led by junior Matt Bennett. He fired a 78 to finish in seventh place. Teammate Brent Haukom was just a stroke back and took 10th. Alex Buysse and Jacob Baker shot identical rounds of 82 to round out the Tigers’ top four scores.

The low round of the day was shot by Bloomington Jefferson’s Michael Schmitz, who came in with a 72.

Saturday’s tournament marked the fourth road meet for the Tigers last week. They’ll open this week at home with the Southwest Conference tournament at Marshall Golf Club before they begin sub-section play Wednesday in Tyler.

As the end of the season draws near, Lucht hopes to see his golfers raise their game so they can make a run at a third-straight trip to the Class AA state tournament.

“We have a strong team but we’ve only shown our true colors one time when we’ve had all our kids shoot in the 70s,” Lucht said. “When we do that, watch out.”