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The DL?boys' golf team tore through the regular season and a No. 1 ranking. It's postseason time...Time to prove it

After almost two months of staking their claim as one of the top boys' golf teams in the state, the Detroit Lakes squad finally gets to prove it.

The proving grounds begin Tuesday at the Longbow Golf Course in Walker, where the Sub-Section 8-2A meet starts.

But the groundwork to one of DL's best seasons ever started several years ago, and is making its climax this year.

The six seniors who will be playing in the sub-section meet Tuesday have a combined 20 years of varsity experience. That leads into a season where the team's meet average is a No. 1 296.7, 12.7 strokes lower than second-place Rochester Lourdes in Class 2A and one stroke better than Class 3A's No. 1 team Chaska.

The experience alone has provided the Lakers the luxury of having six golfers who at any given meet, can be the lowman of the group.

The Lakers do have their consistent top golfers in each meet, with Ben Bergquist holding the No. 2 Class 2A ranking with an average of 71.7 -- behind Pierz' Robert Bell at 71.4 -- and Mike Brodsho holding the eighth-place ranking in the state at 74.2.

But, the remaining players can bust out in any meet and each has led in at least one meet. Ryan Kuehne just won the DL Invite -- the Lakers' last meet of the regular season -- Thursday with a one-under par 70, while Josh Herzog and Adam Thielen have consistently been shooting in the mid-to-high 70's.

Senior Ben Osowski, who was the late addition to the team after shooting a 74 at the Moorhead Invite Tuesday, can lay a meet-low score.

"It's rewarding to know if you shoot something like a 76 or higher, that four or more other of our guys can shoot a 71," said Bergquist, who also won the DL Northwest Classic after shooting a three-under par 68 on the first day and a four-over 75 on the second. "We're all good friends, so that helps, too."

The path to a season in which the Lakers haven't finished below second in a team, started at the prestigious University of Minnesota Tournament, which is the season opener for some of the top squads in the state.

DL finished second in the two-day tournament, the highest finish they ever had there.

That's when the lights went on that the Lakers were a team that could contend.

"Finishing second in the U of M tournament made us realize we can play with the best," said Brodsho, who was the Mid-State Conference medalist. "It meant a lot, because it really pumped us up to finish that high."

The accolades continued to be racked up, as medalist honors were being nabbed by Lakers and team titles were being grabbed.

Two meets were held on the two courses the Lakers will have to do well on to meet their goals -- and in both tournaments, DL won with a sub-300 score.

The first came in the presection meet at Longbow, where it was a first for many of the players playing on that course.

The second came in the Jordan meet, where the Class 2A state tournament will be held.

With two sub-300 scores on both of those courses, the game plan has been set --now it only needs to be executed.

"We took notes on both courses and both fit our games well," Bergquist said. "We have those notes and hopefully we can take that piece of paper out in June for the Jordan course."

The Lakers have scored under 300 four times this season, a mark which usually wins meets.

It's a goal and expectation the team has grown to set.

"We're always going out and trying to break 300," Brodsho said. "That's our goal every time."

DL head coach Bob Gorden has taught this group of seniors well when it comes to not compounding a bad shot with another bad shot.

There have been rare double bogeys this year. Bergquist has had two, while Brodsho has four.

"Everyone knows when someone shoots a bogey," Brodsho laughed. "That's part of our mental game which has improved. We haven't thrown up big numbers."

With each meet from here on out being a do-or-die one, Gorden wants his players to take it one hole at a time, something which they've done so well this season.

If they can do that, good things will happen.

"I still don't believe we have put our best score on the board yet," Gorden said. "We haven't had all our guys score their low in the same meet, which hopefully can happen."

The Lakers hope that can happen in the last meet of the season -- otherwise called the Class 2A state tournament.

Laker results

Detroit Lakes Invite at the Detroit Country Club, Thursday, May 15.

Team results (top 5): Detroit Lakes Red 293, Moorhead 306, Fergus Falls 313, Crookston 320, Bemidji 321. 7. Detroit Lakes White 325; 13. Detroit Lakes Blue 353.

All-Tournament team -- Medalist: Ryan Kuehne (DL) 70; Ben Bergquist (DL) 71, Brock Buckellew (Mhd) 72, Cory Samson (OG) 74, Ben Osowski (DL) 75, Seth Heppner (Crk) 75, Ben Moen (Bem) 76, Ty Kennedy (GFC) 76, Dan Johnson (GFRR) 76, Nick Olsgaard (Mhd) 76.

DL Red results: Kuehne 70, Bergquist 71, Osowski 75, Mike Brodsho 77, Adam Thielen 79, Connor Hedstrom 85.

DL White results: Tanner Lane 80, Karter Smith 81, Ross Mickelson 82, Rick Hutchinson 82, Nate Ginnaty 84, Ben Langworthy 85.

DL Blue results: Kirby Inderrieden 87, Ryan Bielke 88, Nate Bausman 89, Matt Weiss 89, Tyler Baukol 90, Brady Eilertson 99.