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BEA boys golfers sweep top 3 spots, net state team berth

LONG GAME — Blue Earth Area golfer Manning Lane hammers his tee shot down the fairway during second-round Section 2AA action Tuesday at the New Prague Golf Club in New Prague. Lane went on to win the individual championship to pace the Bucs winning the team crown en route to a state bid. (Photo by Greg Abel)

NEW PRAGUE — For the fourth time in the last four opportunities, the Blue Earth Area Bucs are headed to the Class AA state boys golf meet.

“It really started when Braden (Gudahl) and Manning (Lane) where in seventh grade,” BEA head coach Travis Armstrong said of sustaining success. “We came here and played, and our goal was to qualify for Day 2 and we snuck in. Then from there, we’ve just been building. You pick up Max Ehrich and you poach Gavin Storbeck from baseball, both great athletes who put the time in to work on their game. That’s just how you get better. You keep adding parts and pieces.”

The Bucs recorded the top three individual scores over the two-day Section 2AA Meet at the New Prague Golf Club, culminating in a team score of 301-304-605, beating St. Peter’s 624, Holy Family Catholic’s 628 and Glencoe-Silver Lake’s 649.

BEA advances to next Tuesday’s first round of the Class AA state meet at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan.

Manning Lane led the way for the Bucs with a 37-38-75 in Round 2 after carding a 72 in the first round.

Lane carded one birdie on the par-4 second hole when he drove the green, nearly sinking a hole-in-one before he set himself up for a 20-foot putt to leave a tap-in for birdie. Lane added 13 pars to help build his top individual score.

Ashton Lloyd carded the Bucs’ second score, and runner-up individual score of 74-76-150 over the two-day tournament. He started his Day 2 round of 37-39-76 with a birdie on the par-5 first hole, then added another on the par-4 fourth hole.

On the fourth hole, Lloyd chipped from just behind the sand trap off the left side of the green, nearly sinking the chip before leaving himself an 8-foot birdie putt.

Lloyd added another birdie on the par-4 15th hole to complement 10 pars.

Braden Gudahl carded the third-place individual score of 76-75-151 when he recorded his Round 2 total of 35-40-75.

Gudahl sank birdie putts on the par-3 fifth hole, the par-5 sixth hole and the par-3 14th hole to complement nine pars.

“At the beginning of the year when we would talk with the coaches and the dads, we thought we would have a guy shooting 75, one guy around 78 and one guy hopefully around 80 and that would be our number,” Armstrong said. “That’s kind of what we did both days here. It’s kind of nice to shoot what we thought we were capable of.”

Gavin Storbeck recorded the final Bucs counting score of 38-40-78 in Round 2 after carding a Round 1 total of 79. Storbeck fired a birdie on the par-5 sixth hole, while sinking 10 pars.

Max Ehrich was one stroke behind Storbeck with a two-day total of 158, firing back-to-back rounds of 79. In Round 2, Ehrich recorded 11 pars to build his score of 40-39.

Nathan Murphy recorded seven pars on the way to his Round 2 total of 43-43-86 for the Bucs, adding to his first-round total of 94 to card his 33rd-place overall total of 180.

“There’s probably no lead that will make any coach feel comfortable,” Armstrong said of entering Round 2 with a 16-stroke team advantage. “But we were happy to be up 16 and we were able to stretch it out a bit, which is even better. I thought the boys played really well.”

The top five individuals who aren’t members of the Bucs’ roster will join BEA at the state tournament.

St. Peter’s Kaiden Brovold and Glencoe-Silver Lake’s Riley Schuth each carded 152s for a tie for fourth overall. Brovold shot a two-day score of 80-72, while Schuth carded a 78-74.

Griffin Seifert of Waseca recorded rounds of 78 and 75 for his total of 153 to place sixth individually, while Holy Family Catholic’s Charlie Lindberg carded a 78-76-154 and Kendall Nicolai of St. Peter did the same for a tie for the final two state-qualifying spots.

Section 2AA Golf Meet

(Results courtesy of iwanamaker.com)

@ New Prague Golf Club

Boys Division

Team Standings (Champion advances to state): 1. Blue Earth Area 301-304-605; 2. St. Peter 317-307-624; 3. Holy Family Catholic 321-307-628; 4. Glencoe-Silver Lake 329-320-649.

Individual Results (Top 5 non-winning team members advance to state//** team member): **1. Manning Lane (Blue Earth Area) 72-75-147; **2. Ashton Lloyd (Blue Earth Area) 74-76-150; **3. Braden Gudahl (Blue Earth Area) 76-75-151; 4. (tie) Kaiden Brovold (St. Peter) 80-72-152 and Riley Schuth (Glencoe-Silver Lake) 78-74-152; 6. Griffin Seifert (Waseca) 78-75-153; 7. (tie) Charlie Lindberg (Holy Family Catholic) 78-76-154 and Kendall Nicolai (St. Peter) 78-76-154.

Other Blue Earth Area scores: T10. Gavin Storbeck 79-78-157; T14. Max Ehrich 79-79-158; 33. Nathan Murphy 94-86-180.

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