FAIRMONT - Marshall's Matt Bennett held a one-stroke lead over Martin County West's Cordell Weber after nine holes, and was two strokes ahead of Fairmont's Mitch Pfingsten and New Ulm's Kelton Schmitz.
Bennett's one-under par opening nine set him up for an 18-hole par round of 72 to earn first-place individual honors during the Cardinal Invitational on Saturday at Interlaken Golf Club in Fairmont.
"That foursome could be a final grouping at the state tournament," said Fairmont head coach John Korsmo. "That was tough competition for Mitch, and for our team in this tournament. It was a good test."
TOUGH COMPETITION — Martin County West senior Cordell Weber (left) sinks a putt on the par 4 No. 10 during the Cardinal Invitational on Saturday at Interlaken Golf Club. Fairmont’s Mitch Pfingsten looks on from the back. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
Bennett's winning round help to pace the Tigers to the team title, scoring a meet-best 310, while New Ulm finished second (329) and Fairmont finished fourth (341).
"It was such a fun group of guys to golf with," said Pfingsten. "When I saw those were the players I'd get to golf with I was excited, unfortunately I didn't golf my best today."
The Fairmont senior scored four birdies on his way to a team-leading three-over par round of 75.
After a bogie and two pars in the first three holes of the round, Pfingsten found his stride, draining back-to-back birdies on the par 4 No. 4 and par 3 No. 5 holes.
Three more pars on the front nine helped balance out another bogey, and at the halfway mark Pfingsten was within striking distance of the top competition.
Pfingsten then finished his round with three pars and two birdies, on the par 4 No. 14 and par 5 No. 17, on his way to shooting a 75.
"I left strokes out there today, and I know that I could have shot better," said Pfingsten. "There were a couple shots I just shanked, and I don't remember the last time I did that. But this is a mental game, so I'll get back out there. I'm not satisfied."
Weber, who was just ahead of Pfingsten and trailing Bennett by one stroke after nine, then scored a two-over 37 on the final nine as he finished with a second-place round of 73.
Schmitz scored a 41 on the back nine to finish in sixth place with a score of 78.
Joe Nordquist scored one birdie during his round of 83 for the Cardinals.
After four pars, one double bogey and three bogeys on the front nine, Nordquist rebounded on the back.
He came out and pared back-to-back holes on Nos. 9 and 10, before carding a birdie on the par 4 No. 14.
Sam Havnen then contributed a five-par round of 90, while Cole Huinker scored four pars on his way to 93 to round out Fairmont's team score.
"I thought that overall as a team we really played well," said Korsmo. "Joe had a great round and was able to bounce back. Sam and Cole both did well and had good rounds too. This was a tough tournament, and to finish fourth isn't too bad."
Trason Arens and Derrick Hohensee both finished with rounds of 95 to complete Fairmont's efforts.
In addition to Weber's round of 73, the Mavericks also had Jacob Bunter's round of 91, Connor Anderson's efforts for a 93 and Hunter Olson's round of 97 for their eighth-place team total of 354.
North Union finished 11th overall in the team standings, with Parker Oleson scoring a team-low round of 84.
Alex Krantz and Nathan Eaton carded rounds of 94 and 97, while Colton Nicoson rounded out the team score with a 103.
Jacob Braddock ended his round with a 112, while Tyler Quinn finished at 122 to round out the Warriors' efforts.
Zach Curtis scored a team-low 84 to pace the Blue Earth Area Bucs in their 12th-place team finish in the meet.
Connor Thielfoldt (91), Luke Monson (109) and Tanner Wickersham (112) rounded out the Bucs scoring.
Fairmont plays host to Blue Earth Area in a South Central Conference dual meet at 4:15 p.m. on Tuesday at Interlaken Golf Club in Fairmont.
Martin County West plays host to Truman/Granada-Huntley-East Chain in a Valley Conference dual meet at 4:30 p.m. today at Fox Lake Golf Course in Sherburn.
North Union travels to play Harris-Lake Park at 4 p.m. today.
2014 Fairmont Boys
at Interlaken Golf Club
Team Standings: 1. Marshall 310; 2. New Ulm 329; 3. Mankato West 334; 4. Fairmont 341; 5. Redwood Valley 341; 6. Luverne 344; 7. Worthington 352; 8. Martin County West 354; 9. Jackson County Central 356; 10. St. Peter 359; 11. North Union 378; 12. Blue Earth Area 396; 13. Windom 397; 14. Pipestone 424. Incomplete team: Mountain Lake Area.
Individual Medalists (Top 6): 1. Matt Bennett (Marshall) 35-37-72, 2. Cordell Weber (MCW) 36-37-73, 3. Mitch Pfingsten (F) 37-38-75, 4. Will Mulder (WOR) 39-38-77, 5. Mitch Fischer (RV) 37-41-78, 6. Kelton Schmitz (NU) 37-41-78.
Other Fairmont scores: Joe Nordquist 44-39-83; Sam Havnen 47-43-90; Cole Huinker 49-44-93; Trason Arens 47-48-95; Derrick Hohensee 48-47-95.
Other MCW scores: Jacob Buntjer 47-44-91; Connor Anderson 49-44-93; Hunter Olson 51-46-97; Chris Kahler 48-52-100; Hunter Scofield 56-65-121.
BEA scores: Zach Curtis 45-39-84; Connor Thielfoldt 47-44-91; Luke Monson 52-57-109; Tanner Wickersham 58-54-112.
North Union scores: Parker Oleson 45-39-84; Alex Krantz 50-44-94; Nathan Eaton 49-48-97; Colton Nicoson 47-56-103; Jacob Braddock 58-54-112; Tyler Quinn 61-61-122.
Other Marshall scores: Brett Haukom 41-38-79; Alex Buysse 38-41-79; Jacob Baker 43-37-80; Matt Christianson 43-41-84; Spencer Aufenthie 46-45-89.
Other New Ulm scores: Ethan Kraus 42-41-83; Jonah Cooper 40-44-84; Colin Huffman 42-42-84; Tanner Zupfer 40-45-85; Peder Johnson 42-43-85.
Pipestone scores: A.J. Bucher 52-47-99; Caleb Tinklenberg 55-50-105; Trey Pottratz 55-51-106; Riley Budden 64-50-114; Trent VanRoekel 60-57-117; Garrett Niehus 58-61-119.
Luverne scores: Mark Spreiter 40-42-82; Chaz Smesrud 46-38-84; Colton Arends 46-43-89; Cole Walgrave 43-46-89; Spencer Riphagen 45-49-94; Blake Stegenga 50-51-101.
Jackson County Central scores: Joe Brinkman 40-39-79, Austin Olson 48-40-88; Jack Ringkob 47-43-90; Chris Kolander 50-49-99; Kyle Kapplinger 52-51-103; Andrew Torgerson 50-54-104.
Other Redwood Valley scores: Adam Hengel 41-44-85; Joe Smith 42-45-87; Brennen Fuhr 52-39-91; Colin Fuhr 47-49-96; Jay Ortmann 52-50-102.
St. Peter scores: Carter Doose 41-42-83; Riley Wenner 46-44-90; Cole Miller 46-46-92; Brennan Kelly 50-44-94; Killian Bixby 50-47-97; Matt Seitzer 52-48-100.
Mankato West scores: Matt Newman 42-38-80; Galt Goehl 44-40-84; Tripp Bastian 43-42-85; Justin Else 40-45-85; Louis Colway 44-42-86; Brett Mulligan 47-41-88.
Windom scores: Kyle Antes 46-47-93; Tanner Diemer 48-49-97; Dylan Pigman 52-47-99; Sam Diemer 52-56-108; Nathan Luitgens 59-52-111; Nathan White 62-61-123.
Other Worthington scores: Tyler VanHove 45-46-91; Jake Weg 49-42-91; Nathoe Vorasane 45-48-93; Jaren Solt 51-48-99; Ben Koepsell 50-57-107.
Mountain Lake Area scores: Aaron Walzak 40-39-79; Andrew Hirsch 44-42-86; Leighton Sclabaugh 64-69-133.
Martin County West 164, Southwest Star Concept 239 - Conner Anderson shot a 37 and teammate Cordell Weber a 40 as the Mavericks' boys golf team eased by Southwest Star Concept, 164-239, at Emerald Valley golf course in Lakefield on Friday.
On the girls side, Southwest Star shot 262 while the Mavericks fielded an incomplete team of just three players.
Joining Anderson and Weber with rounds that counted for the team score were Jacob Buntjer (43) and Kevin Phillip (44).
Dawson Burkhardt (44) and Hunter Olson (50) rounded out the lineup.
Clay Salzwedel led Southwest Star Concept boys with a second-place score of 38.
Kaylee Wendlund led the Southwest Star girls to their win by shooting 56.
The Mavericks' Jennifer Petersen earned medalist honors with a meet-low round for the girls with a 51.
New Ulm 169, Blue Earth Area 186 - Jonah Cooper carded one birdie and earned medalist honors with a round of 40 to pace the Eagles to a 169-186 South Central Conference dual meet victory over the Bucs on Friday at Riverside Town & Country in Winnebago.
The Eagles' Kelton Schmitz and the Bucs' Zach Curtis both tallied one birdie on their way to second-place rounds of 42.
Schmitz carded his birdie on the par 4 No. 8, while Curtis scored his on the par 5 No. 9.
Ethan Kraus and Matt Saffert rounded out the winning team score with rounds of 43 and 44, respectively.
Colin Huffman and Tanner Zupfer completed the Eagles' efforts with scores of 48 and 49, respectively.
Trevor Zierke scored one par in his round of 46 for the Bucs, while Connor Theilfoldt ended his round at 48.
Luke Monson completed the Bucs counting scores with a 50, including a par on the par 4 No. 8.
Lane Anderson and Zaine Stewart rounded out the Bucs' efforts with scores of 51 and 58, respectively.