Busker piling up wins this summer

Shelby Busker had made it to the top of the leaderboard in half of her tournaments this summer on her way to golfing at IUPUI in Indianapolis this fall. Robert Williams / Tribune

Detroit Lakes 2020 graduate and golf team captain Shelby Busker works on her golf game all year round and it has shown this summer.

Busker has four victories already and has won half of the tournaments she has entered.

“In the winter I hit inside into a net to keep my swing in groove and try to go on a couple trips,” she said. “As soon as the snow gets off I’m out there practice and hitting.”

Busker and teammate Anna Cihak (Minnesota State University-Mankato commit) were primed to lead the Lakers into Class AAA this season moving up to take on the biggest schools in the state.

“We were pretty bummed,” Busker said. “I’m thankful that we’re still able to play summer tournaments. It would have been a whole different experience moving up a class.”


Both players finished in the top 10 of the MN PGA Senior Showcase held on the state course in Coon Rapids in early June.

This would have been Busker’s fifth year in the DL lineup dating back to the 2015 team with Kate Smith, Shelby’s sister Sydney (St. Kate’s), Abby Schramel (UND), Maddie Herzog (NDSU), Lauren Tschider (Concordia soccer) and Katie Larson. Busker was part of three straight Lakers Class AA championships (2016-18).

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The 2015 Detroit Lakes girls golf team L-R: Kate Smith, Maddie Herzog, Katie Larson, Shelby Busker, Lauren Tschider, Sydney Busker, Abby Schramel. File photo

She comes with a pedigree in successful golf within her own family.

Her sister Sydney was a captain, four-year team leader and holds multiple program records at St. Catherine University in St. Paul.

Shelby chose Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

“It turned out to be a really good fit because I was looking for a place that had Biomedical Engineering, so I’ll be getting a Purdue degree in that,” she said.


Not the easiest of degrees to get, Busker has discussed her choice of studies and playing golf with her coaches already.

“It is going to be difficult to do engineering and golf but they were nice and believed in me that I can do both,” said Busker.

Busker will join her Laker classmates this Sunday, June 29 at Mollberg Field for the graduation ceremony putting the final touches on her time at DLHS. Her thoughts on the future are based on what she enjoyed as a student.

“I really enjoy math and science and the medical field seems really interesting,” Busker said. “I was looking at maybe going to medical school, but it’s also a degree I can work in and I don’t need to go on.”

IUPUI is also a place where Busker will be joining a successful golf team. Prior to COVID-19, the Jaguars had captured back-to-back Horizon League championships.

“They have some solid players,” said Busker.

Missing the senior year of season allowed Busker to look forward and concentrate on changes to come.

“The yardage we play changes so much from high school to college, now I can move on,” she said.


In Thursday’s victory in Alexandria on the Minnesota PGA Junior Players Tour, Busker got a move on right to the top of the leaderboard shooting a round best 73 to lead by two strokes over Paynesville’s Anna Eckmann after the first round on Wednesday.

The confidence and having the lead allowed Busker to seal the victory on day two by simply concentrating on consistency during her round.

“I feel like at this point I’ve played in a lot of tournaments and had so much experience with how to handle different situations,” she said.

Only runner-up Hannah Boraas of Alexandria had a better score on the second day putting up a 78 (+4) to finish three shots back of Busker’s winning 6-over par 151 (73-78).

“I feel like with the mental game and being able to practice without school I’m able to feel more confident,” Busker said. “If I’m not hitting it the greatest that day, I’m still confident I can make up-and-downs and make something out of some not so good situations.”

Busker was the top golfer with 27 pars and 9 bogeys in 36 holes. Her three birdies were tied for fourth best at the tournament.

Of her victories this summer, none was better than capturing medalist honors beating a who’s who of Minnesota’s best in the stroke play qualifier.


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Shelby Busker hits a fairway wood on the back nine at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan during the Minnesota Class AA state championships. Robert Williams / Tribune

“That did feel really good seeing all the U of M players and girls from all different D-I colleges,” said Busker.

She is also looking forward to the Minnesota-Wisconsin PGA Junior Cup matches July 16-17 at SentryWorld Golf Course in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. She was one of a dozen female golfers chosen for the team. This is a two-day event featuring 48 of the best high school golfers across Minnesota and Wisconsin. The format includes four-ball matches on the first day and singles matches on the last day. The Minnesota-Wisconsin PGA Junior Cup Matches have been ongoing between the two PGA Sections since 1998 with Wisconsin holding the all-time lead 12-10.

Busker, the 2019 Minnesota PGA Junior Golf ‘Sota Series tour player of the year, has already qualified to compete in the Minnesota Women’s Amateur tournament July 27-29 at Stillwater Country Club.

“Always a good test and good practice for college is the Women’s Am at the end of July,” Busker said.

Busker can join former Laker great Kate Smith as a Detroit Lakes winner of the Am. Smith was the 2017 champion and runner-up last season to Kathryn VanArragon, one of the golfers Busker beat in stroke play at the match play qualifier. Busker was 25th at last season’s tournament.

The Am will be on the downslope to August leaving Busker just a couple weeks to get her last fill of Detroit Lakes before taking off to Indianapolis in the middle of the month.

“I’m excited; it will be a whole new experience,” she said.


MN PGA Junior Players Tour, Geneva GC, Alexandria

1 Shelby Busker, Detroit Lakes, +6 (73-78 151)

2 Hannah Boraas, Alexandria, +9 (78-76 154)

3 Anna Eckmann, Paynesville, +16 (75-86 161)\u0009

T4 Sophie Karsnia, Baxter, +20 (80-85 165)\u0009

T4 Rachel Schwarz, Marshall, +20 (80-85 165)\u0009

6 Lindsey Astrup, Fargo, +21F (87-79 166)

7 Annika Stensrud, Glenwood, +22 (86-81 167)


T8 Samantha Youngquist, Eden Prairie, +24 (84-85 169)

T8 Bergen Senf Fairmont, +24 (82-87 169)

10 Katie Foley, East Gull Lake, +26 (84-87 171)

23 Hanna Knoop, Frazee, +50 (100-95 195)

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Shelby Busker hits a fairway wood on the back nine at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan during the Minnesota Class AA state championships. Robert Williams / Tribune

Robert Williams has been a sports editor for Forum Communications in Perham and Detroit Lakes since 2011.
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