Nick Forsberg kept getting lower.
Tommy Olson carded five birdies and ended his third round with an eagle 2.
Unfortunately for both area junior golfers, neither made the cut into the final round of the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship that started July 28 at the PGA National Resort in Winter Palms, Fla.
The experience provided a wealth of knowledge for both incoming high school seniors. For Olson, he learned how to read and putt on Bermuda grass and about the college recruiting process.
“There were 168 kids and I made a lot of new friends,” said Olson. “Hopefully, we’ll keep in touch on Facebook. My first round I played with a kid from Mexico so that was interesting to hear how they play golf all over the world. I had a guy from Kansas teach me how to read the greens while we were playing.”
Olson’s last hole of his final round was the par 4 ninth on the Champion Course. He scored an eagle for an 11-over 83. Olson shot rounds of 76, 80 and 83.
“That was a good way to end the tournament,” said Olson. “That was my last hole. I had my dad right there with me. It was a good moment.”
Olson, who captained the Brainerd Warriors varsity team last season, also learned he needs to get more serious about golf and improve on his consistency and mental game.
“You watch those kids play and every shot is perfect,” Olson said.
Forsberg opened the tournament with an 84 and followed it up with a 77 and an even-par 72.
“The grass was sure different,” Forsberg said. “It was a different type of play, but the first round just got me. I had a few big numbers get to me. I progressively got better, but that first day got me. I liked playing down there, though.”
The Staples-Motley Cardinal carded an eagle 3 on his first round and shot a 1-under par front nine on his final round.
Forsberg missed the cut by just three strokes.
“I’m happy with my final round,” said Forsberg. “I could have shot lower. I had a lot of opportunities to do that, but I was happy with the way I finished the tournament. I got out of there with a good round and I feel confident about that and I’m looking forward to just keep playing golf.”
Forsberg said putting and short game will be the keys to his practice sessions. He marveled at how his playing partners could get up and down consistently from around the green. Overall the five-year varsity player said the experience was beneficial.
“It was a good experience seeing all these people from around the world and how much they focus on their games,” he said. “It was nice to just test my game at that level. It was what I needed to do.”
Junior Legacy aces
The Legacy must be the place for juniors to register an early ace. Just ask Spencer Sande and Peter Moran, who both recorded their first aces on the Par 3 Course at Cragun’s Legacy Courses during the club’s junior league.
Sande aced the sixth hole on June 29 with Moran collecting his July 6 on the fourth hole.
In true hole-in-one fashion, Moran’s mother Kristen bought a round of Snickers for all the junior golfers.
Classic retains title
Chris Foley may be gone, but Team Classic remains the team to beat as the junior team captured its third straight Pepsi Lakes Junior Cup Sunday at Cragun’s Legacy Courses.
Michael Strain led Team Classic and the field with a 79. He was followed by Mitch Hagenson’s 85 and Sam Labine’s 86.
With the individual victory Sunday, Strain jumped ahead of Tommy Olson, who was playing in Florida, to win the Pepsi Flight championship. Alex Goerges of Pequot Lakes finished second and Nick Forsberg, who was also in Florida placed third.
Deacon’s Lodge finished second on Sunday and second in the final season standings. Matt Pohlkamp shot an 81, Aaron Rich an 82 and Sam Getchell an 87.
Nick Carter’s 83 paced Grand View Lodge’s The Pines team. Greg Domeno and Michael Wing each shot 89s for the Pines.
Labine and Domeno finished first and second in the Mountain Dew flight. Saloman Sasse of Pine River placed third.
Hayley Johnson of Sartell captured the Aquafina flight. She was followed by Samantha Olmscheid of Pequot Lakes and Tyler Helling of Staples.
Finishing fourth on Sunday was the host Legacy team. Jane Sloan, Hayley Johnson and Cierra Waverek each shot 92s to pace the team.
Goerges shot 80 Sunday to pace The Preserve. Cody Mager’s 91 was next.
Playing in her final Pepsi Lakes Cup event Bailey Hollencamp, used a pitching wedge to ace the 91-yard eighth hole of the Dutch Course.
Final team standings: 1-Classic 2,540, 2-Deacon’s Lodge 2,596, 3-Legacy 2,642, 4-Pines 2,678, 5-Preserve 2,644
West Course yields low round
Brian Thuringer’s challenge to all golfers to break par on Madden’s Pine Beach West Course has provided some recent results.
Nick Christensen became the second player to get his round paid for after he shot a 7-under-par 60. Christensen, who is fresh off his top 35 finish in the Minnesota State Amateur Championship and appearance in the US Amateur Public Links Championship, tossed in seven birdies on his bogey free round.
Christensen three-putted the par 5 eight hole and missed a four-foot birdie putt on the par 3 16th and a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th.
The first player to break par this year was Zach Money, who fired a 1-under 66 on July 15th. Money shot nines of 33-33 for his score.
jeremy millsop, sports writer, may be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5856.