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LP-A’s Kohler shoots well in state meet

LP-A’s Dalton Kohler lays a putt in during the Class 1A state boys’ golf meet at Pebble Beach Golf Course in Becker. Photo by Cole Wixo

Dalton Kohler was the first boys’ golfer to make the state tournament for Lake Park-Audubon in over a decade and represented the Raiders with a strong showing at the Class 1A state meet last week.

Kohler’s first goal at the state was to have fun and just do the best he could.

The Raider finished tied for 36th with a first day score of 83 and a second-day mark of 88 for a final score of 171. 

“Dalton is a three sport athlete, participating in football, basketball, and golf,” said LP-A head boys’ coach Cole Wixo. “He had been waiting a long time to make a state tournament and this berth was well deserved.

“Dalton saw so much success during the regular season, placing at multiple conference meets and invites, and even being the medalist at one conference meet. I have known for the past few years that he had the ability to play at the state level, and this year, he really wanted it.”       

The practice round for Kohler included playing with conference players Greg Stromme from Park Christian and Blake and Nathaniel Kalbaugh from Mahnomen.

The Kalbaughs tied for fourth in the overall tournament with scores of 155.

“Dalton got to familiarize himself with the course and picked out his tee shots and set up a game plan for the next two days,” Wixo said. “He decided that on the first day (Tuesday) he would play it safe and give himself a solid score that would keep him in contention for the next day.”

Kohler shot an 83, but was on track to shoot much lower, until he dropped four strokes in his last two holes.

“He was a little disappointed at first, but his spirits rose when he saw that no one really jumped out in front of the field,” Wixo included. “Nathaniel Kalbaugh was the first day leader with a 75 (3 over par). Dalton was sitting in the 19th position out of 88 golfers.”

Kohler decided to take a few more risks on day two to see if he could improve from his score the previous day.

Everything was going as well as it could for the first four holes, then he had two really bad holes, where he got into some water and dropped six strokes in two holes.

“It really beat him up mentally, but he had some time on the seventh tee box while the group ahead had a lost ball,” Wixo said. “Dalton gathered himself together and hit a beautiful tee shot right down the dead center of the fairway.”

The rest of the round would follow suit, he hit the ball far and was hitting fairways, but could not just get the short game going like the previous day.

He had no three putts in the first round and had three of them the second round.

“He had a few pars, but mostly bogeyed out on the back nine,” Wixo said. “He shot a score of 88, with a two day total of 171.”

Brock Bliese of Mounds Park Academy in St. Paul, won Class 1A medalist honors with a 150.

Dawson-Boyd won the team title with a combined score of 660.