Byron boys place fourth at state Class AA golf meet
JORDAN — Byron golfer Logan Bashaw called it the best time of his life.
Bashaw wasn't talking about the Class AA state meet, which didn't go as the Bears had hoped. Instead, he was reflecting on the golf careers of Byron's senior class.
"These were the best years of my life; we'll never have something like this again," Bashaw said.
That's why it was tough for any of the Bears to be disappointed with their state-meet performance this week at Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Course. The Bears wanted to win it all. It didn't happen, but the players held their heads high as they watched the scoreboard after their final round together.
"This has been so much fun, from beginning to end," senior Dom Kieffer said. "I'm not disappointed one bit. We wanted to win, but I'm proud of what we did. Before we went out there today, I told all the guys, this is your last round of golf. Make sure you have fun. I didn't shoot what I wanted, but I know I had fun and enjoyed every second of it."
The Bears placed fourth overall, carding rounds of 301 and 311 for a 612 total. They needed to make up 10 shots Wednesday, but they came up short. Detroit Lakes held on to win the title, shooting a two-day total of 601. Hermantown was second at 602, and Staples-Motley placed third with a 607.
Byron coach Mike Nelson struggled to hold back tears after the final Bears golfer — Bashaw — put the pin in on the hole on the 18th green.
"A lot of great memories," Nelson said. "I can't go too deep into it without getting choked up, but this team was very special. They've been together a long time, and I'll never forget this group."
Nelson said being 10 shots behind, the Bears pressed a little early in the round, trying to make birdies. "Yeah, definitely, I think those first six holes, every guy on the team was pressing," Nelson said. "It just didn't happen."
Bashaw was within striking distance of the individual lead heading into Wednesday. But his putter failed him. He struggled with the greens late on the front nine and for the entire back nine. He finished at 77 on Wednesday, giving him a two-day score of 148. Bashaw placed sixth and was the area's highest finisher.
"Yeah, I just couldn't get the putter going, and I think 13 was my breaking point," Bashaw said. "At least I made my final putt; I went out on a high note."
Kieffer wrapped up his stellar high school career with a round of 77. After a 75 on Tuesday, Kieffer had a two-day total of 152, which placed him 16th overall. Kieffer will golf next year at Colorado State.
"I'm closing one chapter, but I'm opening a new one, and I'm very excited about that," Kieffer said. "I'm definitely going to miss this, though. The guys, coach, I'll miss it."
Senior Conner Hedlund finished 21st overall with rounds of 75 and 78, while Jacob Boe was 44th after rounds of 80 and 79. Senior Mike Espey wrapped up his career with a round of 81 Wednesday, giving him a two-day total of 163 and a 60th-place finish. Nate Hemann rounded out the Byron golfers, carding rounds of 88 and 86 for a 79th-place finish.
"We're not disappointed, it's just sad to see these guys go," Nelson said. "We've all been together for years, so we've created a lot of memories."
The Stewartville girls shaved five shots of their Day 1 score and finished seventh. The Tigers carded rounds of 374 and 369, for a two-day total of 743.
Detroit Lakes rolled to the girls title, carding rounds of 308 and 311 for a two-round score of 619. Minnewaska was second at 654, and St. Croix Lutheran took third at 691.
MacKenzie Olsen had the highest finish for the Stewartville girls. She carded rounds of 85 and 94, for a two-day total of 179. That placed Olsen 41st overall.
Blair Honsey was 46th after rounds of 89 and 94, while Mackayla Olsen made a big improvement Wednesday, finishing 48th after rounds of 99 and 86. Taylor Bestor fired rounds of 101 and 95, finishing 68th with a total of 197. Jessica Rosenblad was 77th with a 210 total (114-96), while Audrey Steinman rounded out the Stewartville golfers, finishing 79th after rounds of 106 and 107.
"Although we didn't play really as well as we had hoped, this was a great experience for all of the girls," Stewartville coach David Honsey said. "We had hoped to shoot in the 340s as we did a few times this year during the regular season. As a team we need to improve around the greens and learn to minimize mistakes on difficult holes. Each of the girls played very well at times and I think this experience will make them even better as we prepare for next year. All of the girls return for the 2013 season. My hope is that this state tournament experience will fire them up and motivate them to play and practice all summer."
Lake City's Kate Bolduc led all area girls. She fired an 81 on Tuesday and finished with an 86 on Wednesday, for a two-day total of 167. That put Bolduc in 21st place. Caledonia/Spring Grove's Jennifer Ely carded back-to-back rounds of 91, for a two-day total of 182, which put her in 44th place.
Detroit Lakes 291-310— 601, Hermantown 302-300—602, Staples-Motley 294-313—607, Byron 301-311—612, Marshall 312-305—617, Providence Academy 307-315—622, St. Croix Lutheran 312-327—639, Waseca 312-338—650.
Top 5 individuals
Taylor Sundbom, Hermantown 73-69—142, Karter Smith, Detroit Lakes 67-78—145, Jack Riester, Holy Angels 76-69—145, Jordan Peters, Delano 71-75—146, Max Duetz, Marshall 72-75—147.
Byron (301-311—612):Logan Bashaw (71-77—148, sixth), Dom Kieffer (75-77—152, 16th), Conner Hedlund (75-78—153, 21st), Jacob Boe (80-79—159, 44th), Mike Espey (82-81—163, 60th), Nate Hemann (86-88—174, 79th).
Other area individuals
Andre Joyce, Triton (84-86—170, 75th), Seth Kollman, Kasson-Mantorville (79-83—162, 54th).
Detroit Lakes 308-311—619, Minnewaska 335-319—654, St. Croix Lutheran 345-346—691, Providence Academy 354-358—712, St. Cloud Cathedral 367-355—722, Stewartville 374-369—743, Hermantown 382-398—780, Fairmont 393-401—794.
Top 5 individuals
Kate Smith, Detroit Lakes 70-70—140, Kourtney Williams, Becker 77-72—149, Brianna Janu, Minnewaska 75-78—153, Trisa Hutchinson, Detroit Lakes 77-77—154, Emily Isralson, Staples-Motley 78-78—156.
Stewartville (374-369—743): MacKenzie Olsen (85-94—179, 41st), Blair Honsey, Stewartville (89-94—183, 46th), Mackayla Olsen (99-86—185, 48th), Taylor Bestor (101-95—197, 68th), Jessica Rosenblad (114-96—210, 77th), Audrey Steinman (106-107—213, 79th).
Other area individuals
Kate Bolduc, Lake City (81-86—167, 21st), Jennifer Ely, Caledonia/Spring Grove (91-91—182, 44th), Emily Schimbeno, Lake City (102-97—199, 72nd), Kelsey Hedlund, Byron (102-101—203, 74th).