Consistency and depth have been the keys to success for the Detroit Lakes boys golf team in 2018 and the Lakers continued to get contributions from all over the lineup on day one of the Minnesota Class AA state tournament breaking away from Holy Family Catholic on the back nine to lead by three strokes heading into Wednesday’s championship round.
“We have a lot of depth on our team with six guys who can bring in a score any day, so it’s a good feeling to have five other guys that can back you at any time,” senior Collin Ginnaty said.
Ginnaty started the Lakers off as the No. 6 player on the lineup card but finished the day tied with fellow senior Ben Unruh shooting matching scores of 78.
“It’s great to come into such an important tournament for us and bring in one of my better scores of the year,” said Ginnaty.
At sections, the underclassmen got the team off to a strong start but Tuesday it was all four seniors stepping up in the biggest meet of the year. Team leader Wyatt Blomseth continued to pace the squad with a low round of two-over 74. Ryan Paskey was one stroke back with a 75.
Both golfers struggled on the finishing hole as the pin at the top of the long slope down to the front of the green created havoc. Paskey found the deep front edge bunker and Blomseth was left of the green and those positions took a stroke or two away from each player.
Regardless, the Lakers control their own destiny with three shots in hand on the quest for the program’s fourth state championship.
“That’s the idea we have in the back of our minds,” Ginnaty said. “We can’t play like we’re going to take it. We have to play like we can play. Having that in our mind and playing our game can get us there.”
The boys round also got an improvement in weather and course conditions. The morning round had the girls battling a steady mist and standing water on the course. A breeze and sunshine tightened up the back nine and gave the Lakers a more opportune chance to grab the lead.
“I think the rain slowed us down at the start and it was kind of weird to play in those conditions,” said Ginnaty. “It was wet and we were getting weird bounces. On the back nine, things were just a little more precise and played a little nicer to us.”
The last DL boys team title came in back-to-back years in 2011-12 and a win would be icing on the cake for four departing seniors and hall of fame coach Bob Gorden, who was inducted into the coaches association hall Monday night at the pre-tournament banquet.
Red Wing is in third place at 317, nine shots behind Holy Family (308). Behind the Wingers is a logjam of Cloquet-Esko (319), St. Cloud Cathedral and Blue Earth Area both with scores of 320 and Totino-Grace in seventh with 321.
East Grand Forks’ Nate Deziel holds a two-stroke lead on the individual leaderboard after shooting a three-under 69. Three players are tied for second place with one-under 71s.
Blomseth is tied for seventh overall with seven other golfers. Paskey is in 14th with five other shooters. Unruh and Ginnaty are in a jam for 31st position.
Wednesday’s final round begins at noon at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan, Minn.
Minnesota Class AA State golf tournament
Team scores: Detroit Lakes 305, Holy Family 308, Red Wing 317, Cloquet-Esko 319, St. Cloud Cathedral 320, Blue Earth Area 320, Totino-Grace 321, Worthington 348.
1 Nate Deziel East Grand Forks 34-35 69
T-2 Derek HItchner Blake School 34-37 71
T-2 Thomas Huettl Lake City 36-35 71
T-2 Cecil Belisle Red Wing 36-35 71
5 Max Court Rocori 36-36 72
6 Luke Alexander Rochester Lourdes 34-39 73
T-7 Wyatt Blomseth Detroit Lakes 36-38 74
T-14 Ryan Paskey Detroit Lakes 37-38 75
T-31 Collin Ginnaty Detroit Lakes 38-40 78
T-31 Ben Unruh Detroit Lakes 41-37 78
Other Laker scores:
T-47 Lukas Justesen 40-40 80
T-51 Hunter Burnside 41-40 81