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BEA’s Bruellman ready to return to fairways

CHIPPING AWAY — Blue Earth Area’s Gaven Bruellman chips onto a green at Rose Lake Golf Course outside of Fairmont during last year’s Big South Conference Meet. Bruellman, the Bucs’ lone senior player, hopes he gets a chance to put his golf skills to the test this spring. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells/Sentinel Archives)

BLUE EARTH — Gaven Bruellman was bringing a new mindset into his senior golf season. Now he will have to wait to find out if it works.

Bruellman, the lone senior on the Blue Earth Area Bucs’ boys golf team, was prepared to help lead the team to its fourth consecutive state appearance.

As a freshman, Bruellman led the Bucs at the state tournament with a two-day score of 73-78-151 for a share of 21st overall as an individual. Bruellman helped the Bucs place eighth in their first state appearance in 12 years.

In his return to the state tournament as a sophomore, Bruellman shot 81-80-161 for 57th as an individual, helping the Bucs finish fifth as a team.

Last year, Bruellman shot 87-88-175, helping the Bucs place fifth once again.

“I actually went to a psychiatrist partially because of golf,” Bruellman said. “And basically there I kind of developed a new mindset towards golf. I had some weird kind of stretches some years. Pretty much from my freshman year to like, I guess the end of the season last year.

“I’ve been getting progressively worse, which doesn’t make sense. So that’s pretty much why I went to counseling in the first place. I developed a new mindset for the game and I was kind of ready to see, you know, if it would change anything, but I guess we got the summer to figure that out.”

Though the Bucs had made it to The Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Course for the state tournament each of the past three years, with largely the same team, Bruellman said he thinks BEA would have had a tough road this season.

“Holy Family Catholic actually got into our section, which is pretty good private school and would have been a tough matchup at sections,” Bruellman said. “Not sure if we would have made it to state again, but who knows? I guess we might not ever know.”

Bruellman said he has been golfing since he was 5 years old, when he and teammate Manning Lane would play in youth tournaments. Bruellman continued playing and joined the BEA program in seventh grade.

Through his years playing golf, he said something unexpected draws him back to courses.

“I’ve always been kind of a sight-seeing person. I really like the way golf courses look. I guess that’s kind of a strange answer,” Bruellman said. “But apart from that, I don’t know, there’s something about the game. It’s just always been something I can fall back on when times are rough. I can just go out with my friends, play some holes, hit some balls, whatever. And it’s frustrating sometimes, but I like the game.”

Bruellman’s desire to be on the course has driven him to continue his career after high school. He plans to attend Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, to continue playing the game he loves. Bruellman said not only is he drawn to the golf course, but to what he wants to do for his career.

“My major will be biomedical sciences,” Bruellman said. “So yeah, I’ve always been interested in the medical field. Not sure if I’m gonna go the whole medical school physician route, but we’ll see, I’ve got a pretty open mind.”

For now, Bruellman will continue to spend his days playing video games, hanging out with family and taking online classes, while waiting to test his new mindset when golf returns.

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