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Detroit Lakes boys' two-year state reign ends

Laker senior Karter Smith rolls a putt on the 9th green at the Ridges at Sand Creek during Wednesday's final round of the MSHSL class 2A state golf meet. Smith finished in 7th place with a two-day total of 110, and the Lakers took second place as a team with a score of 450. Staples-Motley finished in first, shooting a total of 443 as a team. Brian Basham/DL Newspapers

JORDAN -  The third Class 2A state championship in a row was not in the cards for the Detroit Lakes boys’ golf team, as Staples-Motley swooped in to win the team title after shooting seven strokes better than the Lakers Wednesday at the Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Course in Jordan.

There was very little room for error for the Lakers Wednesday, as a five-hour rain delay forced the MSHSL to make the second round only nine holes.        

The Cardinals took a five-stroke lead into the second round and expanded on it Wednesday to clinch the title, with DL finishing as state runners-up.

The Cardinals finished with a 443, as the Lakers had a 450.

“Playing nine holes instead of 18 changed our thought process and added more urgency, because more was riding on each swing,” said junior Michael Herzog, who shot even par 36 Wednesday, after finishing with a 77 in the first round to finish with a 114. “We just didn’t have enough today and Staples-Motley played some good golf.”

The Lakers two seniors Karter Smith and Austin Rusness led the team, with the former finishing All-State with a seventh-place finish overall at 110 and Rusness shot a 113.

“Once again, we started out well and just fell back on some later holes,” Rusness said. “I was one-under after seven, but finished bad with a double-double.”

The Lakers will have four returning next year, including Herzog, along with sophomores Christian Hedstrom, Ben Mallow and Tanner Schnathorst, who was on last year’s state title team.

Hedstrom finished with a 75-40-115, while Mallow shot a 76-42-118 and Schnathorst an 84-42-126.

“You have to give Staples-Motley credit, they played better than us,” said DL head coach Bob Gorden. “We made a few errors and they didn’t. Coming into the second round, we needed Staples-Motley to stumble a little and they didn’t, but we stumbled in our last few holes.”

With each of Rusness and Smith graduating, it ends two careers which saw four state tournaments and two state championships.

“We are disappointed because we knew what kind of team we had,” Herzog said. “We wanted to win it for our two seniors, too. They are amazing players and friends.

“But unfortunately, you can’t win them all.”

Smith will be playing Division I golf at Drake University in Iowa.

“We are disappointed, but happy, because this was a great season to be a part of,” Gorden said. “Our two seniors had quite the career here.”

Delano’s Jordan Peters won medalist honors after scoring a 104, while Josh Kummerfeldt of Waseca was second with a 106.

Litchfield finished third overall with a 454.

Laker results - Class 2A state meet at the Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Course in Jordan, Tuesday-Wednesday,  June 11-12

Team scores: Staples-Motley 443, Detroit Lakes 450, Litchfield 454, Hermantown 464, Blake 467, Marshall 469, Rochester Lourdes 481, New Ulm 487

Top 7 individuals: Medalist – Jordan Peters (Delano) 104; Josh Kummerfeldt (Waseca) 106, Mitch Hagenson (S-M) 108, Josh Becks (Hermantown) 109, Aaron Leintz (Bagley) 109, Karter Smith (DL) 110

DL results: Karter Smith 74-36-110, Austin Rusness 74-39-113; Michael Herzog 78-36-114; Christian Hedstrom 75-40-115; Ben Mallow 76-42-118; Tanner Schnathorst 84-42-126

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.