NEW PRAGUE - Even without one of their best players being able to compete, the New Ulm boys golf team was top dog at the Section 2AA tournament on Monday, winning the meet and advancing to their first ever state tournament with a team score of 309.?
The Eagles were led by Jonah Cooper's 75 and Matt Saffert's 77. Ethan Kraus shot a 75 and Josh Cooper carded an 82 as the Eagles now get ready for the Class AA state meet next Tuesday and Wednesday at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan.
For Saffert, it was just a good day overall.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm’s Matt Saffert watches his tee shot from the 10th hole during the Section 2AA golf meet Monday in New Prague.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
"I don't know, everything was working I guess," he said.?"Nothing was too bad, but nothing was too great either."
Most teams would have a tough time when a top player goes down. Last week, the Eagles lost Kelton Schmitz to a broken wrist. But the Eagles showed the depth they have, winning the meet by 17 strokes over Mankato East.
"They played incredible, they held on, they had a great frontside, Mankato East was three shots behind us, and we never really had any big, terrible scores," New Ulm coach Dan Janke said. "We just kept plugging along, had a couple three putts in there, and just kept on going."
"It's really nice, because if we lose one player, there's always another player that can fill in," Saffert said.?
The Eagles were second in the Section last year. This marks the first time in school that they've qualified for state.
"It's the first-ever team from New Ulm so that's pretty good," Saffert said.
Tanner Zupfer and Colin Huffman each shot an 85 for the Eagles.
Mankato East finished with a score of 326, followed by St. Peter (348) and Jordan (348).
The Eagles knew that it was going to be close with Mankato East after the first round of nine. But they didn't get nervous and played some of their best golf of the year.
"We knew it was tight, we knew as a team what kind of a score we shot on the front side and Mankato East was down by three strokes and they knew that they were shooting a great score," Janke said.?
Individual qualifiers included St. Peter's Chris Amsden (79), East's Carter Haley (80) and Alex Zellmer (80), Fairmont's Carter Welchlin (78) and Waseca's Josh Kummerfeldt (77).
New Ulm's Corinne McKeeth was once again close to qualifying on the girls' side, but she came up short for the second year in a row. She ended the day with a 93.
"I expected to play better, but what can you do," McKeeth said. "I've been shooting more towards the 80s this year so a 93 just wasn't what I wanted."
She struggled with some basic parts of her game and that turned out to hurt her final score.
"I couldn't hit my drives or my five-wood today," she said. "I don't know what was going on."
The Fairmont girls won with a score of 362. Jordan was next (380), followed by Belle Plaine (410) and Blue Earth Area (410).
New Ulm's Kendra Clyne shot a 108 and Julia Schaefer shot a 126. Tasha Holm finished the day with a 119.
Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop's Katelyn Seehafer finished the day with a 126. Sibley East's Liz Theis had a 118.
Individual qualifiers for the girls include Jordan's Triana Thong (77), Belle Plaine's Hannah Johnson (81), Waseca's Melissa Bartz (87), Belle Plaine's Ireland Lambrecht (89) and LeSueur-Henderson's Kelsey Skelly (92).
SECTION 2AA GOLF MEET
At New Prague Golf Course
Team Standings (Champion advances to state): 1. Fairmont 362 (Lizzie Larson 41-40-81; Megan Rosol 42-45-87; Emily Kim 46-50-96; Elizabeth Kim 49-49-98; Cassidy Krusemark 55-53-108; Alyssa Westcott 62-64-126); 2. Jordan 380 (Trianna Thong 39-38-77; Nicole Schrader 47-51-98; Annika Sidhu 50-49-99; Sabrina Thong 51-55-106; Lexy Stemig 55-53-108; Rachel Menke 58-63-121); 3. (tie) Blue Earth Area 410 (Autumn Drake 47-48-95; Natali Fellows 52-51-103; Anna Aukes 52-53-105; Aeli Olson 52-55-107; Signe Olson 61-69-130; Ashley Petersen WD); and Belle Plaine 410 (Hannah Johnson 39-42-81; Ireland Lambrecht 43-46-89; Alison Stolee 59-58-117; Maddie Hartman 61-62-123; Lexi Stauffacher 61-63-124; Sam Gregory 70-74-144).
Individual Results (Top 5 sectional medalists; top 5 non-team members advance to state): 1. Trianna Thong (Jordan) 39-38-77; 2. (tie) Lizzie Larson (F) 41-40-81 and Hannah Johnson (BP) 39-42-81; 4. Melissa Bartz (Waseca) 41-46-87; 5. Ireland Lambrecht (BP) 43-46-89; 6. Kelsey Skelly (Le Sueur-Henderson) 44-48-92.
Other area individuals: Corinne McKeeth (New Ulm) 47-46-93; Kendra Clyne (New Ulm) 55-53-108; Katelyn Seehafer (GFW) 61-52-113; Tasha Holm (New Ulm) 59-60-119; Julia Schaefer (New Ulm) 65-61-126.
Team Standings (Champion advances to state): 1. New Ulm 309 (Ethan Kraus 38-37-75; Jonah Cooper 37-38-75; Matt Saffert 38-39-77; Josh Cooper 40-42-82; Tanner Zupfer 45-40-85; Colin Huffman 41-44-85); 2. Mankato East 326 (Carter Haley 36-44-80; Alex Zellmer 41-39-80; Christian Sadaka 40-41-81; Josh Sloniker 43-42-85; Nick Rockvam 44-41-85; Nick Yess 39-48-87); 3. (tie) Jordan 348 (Jake Pieper 41-42-83; Mitchell Peterson 43-42-85; Daniel Gutzmer 43-45-88; Michael Rutz 44-48-92; Alex Vollbrecht 47-49-96; Jordan Remme 50-53-103) and St. Peter 348 (Chris Amsden 39-40-79; Cole Miller 44-39-83; Killian Bixby 46-46-92; Peter Kruize 48-46-94; Erik Thorkelson 50-46-96; Brad Rice 45-56-101).
Individual Results (Top 5 sectional medalists; top 5 non-team members advance to state): 1. (tie) Ethan Kraus (NU) 38-37-75 and Jonah Cooper (NU) 37-38-75; 3. (tie) Matt Saffert (NU) 38-39-77 and Josh Kummerfeldt (Waseca) 36-41-77; 5. Carter Welchlin (Fairmont) 38-40-78; 6. Chris Amsden (SP) 39-40-79; 7. (tie) Carter Haley (East) 36-44-80 and Alex Zellmer (East) 41-39-80.