Golf: Willmar Cardinal boys show their potential

Apr. 30—WILLMAR — If the Willmar boys golf team had any doubts about its potential, some of those concerns were alleviated on Saturday.

Hosting Day 2 of the Cardinal/Wildcat Invite at Eagle Creek Golf Club, the Cardinals held onto its one-stroke lead in Day 1 to clinch the championship. Willmar shot a Day 2 score of 317 to put its total at 630.

"It shows how far we've come," said Willmar senior Joey Wisocki, who took second overall with a total of 149. "It shows that we've all improved tremendously.

"Last year, we'd hope that we get top five. Coming out on top of this big invitational with all these big teams shows us what's to come."

In locking up the team championship, Willmar finished ahead of two fellow Central Lakes Conference teams. Brainerd was second with a two-day total of 637 while Sartell was third with 640.

"Very proud of the boys," said Willmar head coach Joe Kuehn. "I don't know if our top four guys had it today, but they all grinded and did what they needed to do."

"We came out on top for the first time since we started this tournament (six years ago)," Kuehn added. "This is exactly how we wanted to start our season."

Lakeville South and St. Cloud Cathedral tied for fourth with 644s. Cathedral started Saturday in second place one stroke behind Willmar.

The Cardinals' Day 2 score of 317 was the best in the 16-team field. Yes, they were playing on their home course, but the weather did no one any favors. The round saw sunshine followed by dark clouds, gusts of high winds, rain and occasional sleet that players were having to brush aside while reading the greens.

"(The weather) definitely makes you think a lot more," Wisocki said. "It adds two-to-three different factors every single time. You got to think about wind, you got to think about rain, we even had sleet today. It added a lot of factors, especially with putting."

Along with Wisocki, two other Cardinals finished in the top 10. Nathan Marthaler and Aden Jacobson finished tied for eighth with 158s.

"When you host a tournament, you want to do well but the pressure's on you because you know the course," Kuehn said. "We put in a lot of work all winter and it's good to see some results with it."

New London-Spicer's Nixon Harrier claimed medalist honors. Sitting in second place after Day 1 at New London's Little Crow Golf Resort with a 73, Harrier shot a 74 on Saturday for a two-day total of 147. He beat Wisocki, the Day 1 leader, by two strokes. Brainerd's Dawson Ringler shot the low score on Saturday with a 73, beating Harrier by a stroke.

"I wanted to stay solid, get pars and keep on going," Harrier said. "I got a few birdies. I had a couple bad holes but I just stayed with it and mentally, just kept going."

The Wildcats finished seventh with a two-day score of 650. They finished ahead of Wright County Conference rival Hutchinson, which placed eighth with 680.

A season removed from finishing sixth in the Class AA state tournament, NLS is showing early promise in making another big postseason run. "This is a great team this year and I'm hoping we can set a school record this year," Harrier said. "I think we got another good-looking team again this year and hopefully we can make it back to state."


Team scoring

(1) Willmar 313-317—630 ... (2) Brainerd 318-319—637 ... (3) Sartell 318-322—640 ... (4t) Lakeville South 320-324—644; and St. Cloud Cathedral 312-332—644 ... (6) Moorhead 323-324—647 ... (7) New London-Spicer 330-320—650 ... (8) Hutchinson 342-338—680 ... (9) Cambridge-Isanti 339-348—687 ... (10) Community Christian School 373-357—730 ... (11) Lac qui Parle Valley 370-365—735 ... (12) Becker 367-374—741 ... (13) Montevideo 373-390—763 ... (14) Litchfield 381-392—773 ... (15) Dawson-Boyd 404-385—789 ... (16) Minnewaska 399-405—804


TOP FIVE (TWO-DAY TOTAL) — (1) Nixon Harrier, NLS, 73-74—147 ... (2) Joey Wisocki, Will, 72-77—149 ... (3) Dawson Ringler, Br, 77-73—150 ... (4) Easton Lammers, Moor; 155 ... (5) Vincent Gebhardt, SCC, 77-79—156

WILLMAR — (2) Wisocki 72-77—149 ... (8t) Nathan Marthaler 81-77—158 ... (8t) Aden Jacobson 78-80—158 ... (30t) Deiken Carruthers 82-85—167

NLS — (1) Harrier 73-74—147 ... (20t) Sam Hanson 84-80—164 ... (33t) Gabe Truscinski 84-85—169 ... (38t) Blake Kath 90-81—171

CCS — (25t) Jonathan Reid 85-81—166 ... (51t) Mark Arnold 90-86—176 ... (60t) Will Chapin 93-91—184 ... (78t) Max Arnold 105-99—204

LQPV — (35t) Carson Besonen 88-82—170 ... (38t) Kaidyn Stender 86-85—171 ... (77) JT Ulstad 101-102—203 ... (81) Grant Bjerke 95-115—210

MONTEVIDEO — (44t) Jayson Nichols 82-91—173 ... (50) Camden Helgeson 87-88—175 ... (74t) Ty Ricke 94-99—193 ... (86t) Gavin Arends 110-112—222

LITCHFIELD — (38t) Carstan Milender 84-87—171 ... (69t) Ty Olson 94-94—188 ... (78t) Brandon Jansky 88-116—204 ... (84) Beau Twardy 115-103—218

DAWSON-BOYD— (53) Drew Hjelmeland 90-88—178 ... (62t) Evan Mork 92-93—185 ... (67t) Carson Stratmoen 97-90—187 ... (91) Landon Kemen 125-114—239

MINNEWASKA — (33t) Zach Gugisberg 88-81—169 ... (55t) Thatcher Sherlin 89-92—181 ... (88) Chase Wacker 109-114—223 ... (93) Jackson Ziesmer 113-129—242

RENVILLE COUNTY WEST — (30t) Ryan Schrupp 84-83—167 ... (85) Jon Driggs 118-101—219