State Tournament Begins for Owatonna, Blooming Prairie and Triton Golfers
Owatonna's Andrew Wall and Triton's Shelby Maloney are making their state golf tournament debuts Tuesday. For Blooming Prairie, it's back to where they've been before.
The Awesome Blossom boys' team qualified for state for the first time ever last spring and repeated the performance by running away with the Section 1A title. Multi-time state qualifier Tommy Braaten leads the way and won the section individual title. He finished fourth last year and coach Carl Peterson says his goals are high, and he has the capability of doing well, "He hits the ball as rock solid as anybody I've seen in many, many years."
The team is a mix of youth and experience. Peterson hopes the practice round on Monday settled down some of the excitement among the younger players. He hopes for a middle of the pack or better finish, but says its a strong field. The boys have the early tee times on Tuesday at Pebble Creek in Becker.
BP's Taylor Christianson is making her fourth appearance at state. She didn't have a great section tournament but took sixth at state last year and Peterson believes she will be in contention atop the leader board this week.
Owatonna's Wall is making his state tournament debut, but coach Mark Langlois believes he has the experience to do well, "He plays in a lot of big MGA events. He's played with all these kids at the state tournament." Qualifying for state is a great way to wrap up Wall's prep playing days. Langlois says Wall has steadily improved in hitting clubs at the right distance and in his course management over the years. The Class AAA tournament is at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids.
Triton coach Joe Hansen says Maloney is mature for a sophomore and does a great job staying composed, "She's got a little bit of a unique quality in her maturity and how she's able to process things and deal with trouble as it comes." He says no golf round is perfect and how you handle adversity will determine where you end up. Class AA plays at The Ridges of Sand Creek in Jordan. The girls have the afternoon tee times on the opening day of the two-day tournament.