Austin boys are 2nd at Iowa Invitational
Thorson leads Packers with 81
BALLARD, Iowa — The Austin Packers boys golf team took a trip south to play in the Ballard Invitational on Saturday, but still didn’t find any warm weather.
Despite playing in cold temperatures and a stiff wind, the Packers were highly competitive in the eight-team field and finished second on the day. Owatonna was the only other team from Minnesota in the event as six Iowa schools made up the balance of the field.
"We teed-off at 9 a.m. and it was only about 38 degrees," Austin coach Will Pazurek said. "There was a strong wind blowing the whole day, but the guys really played well considering the conditions."
The host team from Ballard won the event at the Harvestor course with a 338 score. Austin was the runner-up with a 345.
"Ballard is the defending state champion in Iowa, and we played right with them," Pazurek said.
"Clear Lake was another team that placed at state last year, and we best them by five strokes. It wasn’t a great team score for us, but it came in tough conditions against a field of very good teams."
James Thorson was the low man for the Packers with a round of 81 for 18 holes. Thorson was under 40 on the front nine, but lost a few strokes on the tough back nine which included a couple of par five holes.
Like his team, Thorson had the second best score of the day.
He was two strokes off the pace of the medalist, who came from Ballard and shot a 79.
"The medalist was the fifth kid from Ballard," Pazurek said. "We were beating them, then their guys got hot and made up some ground on those long holes on the back. The No. 15 hole is a real long par five, and you had to hit four good shots just to get to the green. The guys fought it out and beat some good teams."
Austin boys return to Big Nine Conference play on Tuesday with a home triangular against Mankato West and Winona. The tee-time for the conference match is set for 2:30 p.m. at the Austin Country Club.
• At The Harvestor, par 72
Austin (345): James Thorson 39-42—81, Drake Brehmer 43-44—87, Drew Osier 43-45—88, Nick Tabor 43-46—89.