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Pearson caps senior year with state golf medal

2024 All-Journal Golf • Ben Pearson, MVL • Boys Golfer of the Year

File photo by Ari Selvey Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s Ben Pearson, pictured in this May 28 file photo from the first round of the Section 2A Boys Golf Tournament at North Links Golf Course in North Mankato, was named the All-Journal Boys Golfer of the Year on Friday.

NEW ULM — Ben Pearson’s seventh-place finish at the Class A State Golf Tournament this year was more than just a personal achievement.

Not only was it the first time that Pearson had medaled with a top-eight finish in the state tournament at Pebble Creek Golf Club in three trips, but it was also Minnesota Valley Lutheran’s first-ever state golf medalist.

“It’s just a great opportunity to have our school, MVL, to be shown and represent them and bring a good name to them,” Pearson said. “It was a great opportunity and I couldn’t have done it without coach [Craig] Morgan either.”

For this achievement, and his play all season long, Pearson has been selected as the All-Journal Boys Golfer of the Year.

“I feel very grateful,” Pearson said. “I’d like to give all glory to God, and I just couldn’t do it without the support from him and from a lot of my friends and, most importantly, my family.”

Pearson shot a 75 on Day 1 and a 74 on Day 2 of the tournament to finish 5-over-par, his best finish by nine strokes at state. Pearson had previously shot 158 in 2023 and 162 in 2022 at the state tournament.

“For the state tournament, it was nice,” Pearson said. “It was my third time going to state, so that was super fun and it was a great atmosphere. I had a lot of course knowledge that I have gained throughout the three years that I have been there, and for me to be able to accomplish what I did and to play almost to the best of my ability. I left it all out on the course.”

On the season, Pearson shot an 18-hole average of 78.75, meaning he actually shot better at a difficult Pebble Creek Golf Course than he did on average this year.

“I put in a lot of practice and time with my dad and my mom and my sister,” Pearson said. “So it was just a lot of practice. I played a couple days before just to get the feel of things. Then the practice round at state really helped me. I was really feeling my shot that practice round. Then to be able to bring it over and translate it onto the course when it mattered was super clutch and was a great way to go out.”

Pearson said the biggest reason for his improvement was simply repetition.

“A lot of practice,” he said. “You can’t be good without practice. I did a lot of drills with my dad and my dad really helped me get better. He’s the coach at [Martin Luther College], so he has a lot of really good drills. I want to take a piece of his mind and to be able to translate what he knows into my game so I can become the best golfer possible. I think that’s one of the big reasons I played better this year than seasons past.”

Pearson was also awarded with his third All-Conference selection this year after being Honorable Mention his freshman year.

Pearson will continue his basketball and golfing career at MLC next season.

“I’m kind of excited,” he said. “I don’t really know a lot about what the season brings. I don’t know how good the golfers are in the conference or how that will look. But a couple of my goals are just to be better than this year, to always be working on and improving my game. I want to always be getting better, I don’t want to plateau at all, I want to be striving to get better.

“Having my dad as my coach will be a great pro into my game, because he can now walk beside me in my meets instead of 25 yards away. And with him knowing my game, he’ll help me on the course, especially this coming year, which I think will be a big positive toward my golf game at MLC.”

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