Frazee's Hanson quietly ties for fourth
JORDAN - Frazee freshman Beau Hanson maybe a soft-spoken, mild and calm individual, but his debut in the Class 2A boys' state golf meet made plenty of noise.
That same quiet demeanor of Hanson's was key for the young Hornet, who finished tied for fourth overall with a five-over par 149 through two rounds of play Wednesday and Thursday at the Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Course in Jordan.
Hanson spoke softly, but carried a big putter in his first round Wednesday, in which he carded a one-over par 73 to put him two strokes out of the lead and the opportunity to play in the lead group Thursday.
Although Hanson couldn't match his one-over round from Wednesday in his second round, he remained solid to stroke a four-over 76 to tie him for fourth with Long Prairie-Grey Eagle's Jordan Priem and Hermantown's Alex Kolquist.
"I just took it one shot at a time," Hanson said of his strategy in his first state meet.
His first day score of 73 was obviously the key to his top four finish and Hanson credited his putter for putting him in that situation.
Hanson finished his first round with 27 putts, but at least five to six of them were sunk from 10-feet and beyond.
"I was just seeing the line," Hanson said of his stellar putting. "The greens were fabulous, too."
The Hornet freshman had all night Wednesday to think of how close he was to the rare state title, which he trailed by two strokes.
For some freshmen in that position, the pressure could get to them, but for the even-keel Hanson, it was just another round Thursday.
"Yeah, it crossed my mind once," Hanson said of his standing Thursday morning. "OK, it crossed my mind a couple of times."
But if there was any pressure on Hanson, he sure didn't act like it by taking par on seven straight holes on the front nine.
"I was a little nervous at first, but then I teed off and that was it pretty much," Hanson said.
During Thursday's round -- or for any round during any tournament for that matter -- one can't tell by Hanson's demeanor if he's sitting in water or on the fairway.
He's pretty flat-lined through all 18 holes and through every shot and that's a pretty big advantage for the young golfing prodigy.
"Beau is the same way in the classroom, every teacher loves him and he gets along with everyone," said Frazee head boys' golf coach John Olson. "He's just calm and collect. It's absolutely perfect."
An example of Hanson not getting too high with the good or too low with the bad came in a three-hole stretch Thursday in the state's second round.
He stroked a double-bogey and a bogey in consecutive holes.
Then Hanson came back and made a birdie and not letting two bad holes get to him.
"It helps being calm," Hanson said. "If I get mad, I don't play well and if I get too happy, I don't shoot well."
Hanson aided his cause Thursday with a chip in for birdie on hole 16 to seal his top four ranking.
Hanson is also helping put the Frazee golf program back on the map after almost being erased altogether.
Two years ago, the Frazee School District cut the boys' golf program from its budget.
That sparked a group of parents -- including Hanson's parents Randy and Monica -- and the golf boosters club to fund the team, thus saving the program.
Now, Hanson is at state and making a statement.
It's also been awhile since a Frazee boys' golfer has made it as far as Hanson has -- the last one was Bobby Kertscher in 1978.
"It's great to say we have a great future," Olson said.
Red Wing senior Mark Giorgi won medalist honors with a 145, while Patrick Johnston of Orono was second with a 146.
Hanson knows Giorgi some, after the two dueled in match play in a Junior PGA tournament last year.
The Frazee freshman actually led through the first nine holes, but Giorgi eventually won the match.
Orono, which tied with Detroit Lakes for the Class 2A championship last year, won it outright this time after finishing with a 607, with Hermantown in tow with a 618.
After breaking through to the state tournament this year as just a freshman, don't expect to hear much coming from Hanson himself in the future on the links.
But expect to hear plenty of noise coming from his game, which is starting to get some recognition after his top four finish in this year's Class 2A state tournament.
Minnesota State High School League Class 2A boys' golf meet at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan, Wednesday-Thursday, June 3-4.
Team results: Orono 607, Hermantown 618, Rochester Lourdes 631, St. Cloud Cathedral 635, Fairmont 644, Roseau 648, Holy Angels 654, Waseca 677.
Top 5 individuals: Medalist - Mark Giorgi (Red Wing) 145; Patrick Johnston (Orono) 146, Nate Hoefflin (St. Cloud Cathedral) 148, Beau Hanson (Frazee) 149, Jordan Priem (Long Prairie-Grey Eagle) 149, Alex Kolquist (Hermantown) 149.