NISSWA — Nick Forsberg is his own worst critic.
The Staples-Motley senior gave himself an unflattering review Friday despite shooting a 2-over-par 74 to lead the Cardinals to second place after the first round of the Early Bird tournament at Grand View Lodge’s Pines Golf Course.
Forsberg’s 74 coupled with 76s from Michael Strain and Andrew Isrealson and an 80 from Trent Hagenson helped S-M to a 306. That was one stroke better than Grand Rapids and 10 strokes behind first-round leader Lakeville North.
“I beat it around good enough for awhile there,” said Forsberg. “I was just trying to keep it going. I wasn’t making good enough contact to just stick it so I was concentrating on good misses. As the round went on, I just kept grinding and staying positive. I could have made a few more putts out there. They were coming off the face good, It either wasn’t getting the exact speed right or they weren’t coming off the hill enough. I was just a little bit off on that.”
Forsberg, who has advanced to the last three Class 2A state tournaments and helped S-M advance last year as a team, said he’ll look to close the three-stroke gap that seperates him and first-round leader Trey Dole of Bemidji.
“(Saturday) I enjoy the Preserve,” Forsberg said. “I know that course. I’m looking forward to that to make up ground. I have a little bit of work to do. (Today) it was all about good misses and not giving up.”
Michael Strain, who posted the best state score for the Cardinals, came into the tournament confident and he’s hoping to leave it confident after Saturday’s second round, which S-M and the Brainerd Warriors will play at The Preserve in Pequot Lakes.
“It was interesting,” said Strain about his Friday round. “I didn’t putt very well, but my irons were pretty good until the end. I started to fall apart a little bit, but I held it together.
“I felt like I could be very aggressive because the pins were very generous. There was a lot of pins that I could go for. I just didn’t quite do it.”
Despite not attacking as aggressively as he wanted, Strain said he didn’t miss many greens. That helped him shoot one of the lower rounds at the Pines on Friday.
“(Saturday), we just have to go out there and play our best,” said Strain. “We put up a pretty good number today and I see there are some other pretty solid numbers up there as well. I think if we play like we did today or just a little bit better, we’ll be right in there.”
The Warriors, who also opened at the Pines shot a 343 to put them in 22nd place in the 33-team tournament, The fields were split with half playing at the Pines Friday, while the other half played the Preserve.
Brainerd’s Thomas Stoxen led the Warriors with an 81. Tommy Olson and T.J. Perpich both 86s and Aaron Rich, who had a nice up and down for par on the par 4 eighth hole of the Woods shot a 90.
Playing at the Preserve were the Crosby-Ironton Rangers, They shot a 358 and were led by Tom Burgstaler’s 82.
Al Goerges and Cole Bliss each shot 85s and Nevin Greer and Nic Olmscheid carded 86s for Pequot Lakes’ 342. That placed the Patriots in 21st position.
Little Falls’ Tom Smith fired an 83. The Flyers are four shots behind Brainerd at 347.
Pine River-Backus was led by Saul Sasse’s 85 and Pillager’s Logan Jackson fired a 94 to lead the Huskies.
Team scores: Lakeville North 296, Staples-Motley 306, Grand Rapids 307, West Fargo 310, Fergus Falls 310, Forest Lake 312, Eagan 312, Hill Murray 313, Roseau 313, Bemidji 315, St. Cloud Cathedral 318, Hermantown 319, Prior Lake 319, Virginia 319, Cambrdige-Isanti 321, Duluth East 324, Red Wing 325, Crookston 338, International Falls 340, Pequot Lakes 342, Brainerd 343, Little Falls 347, Thief River Falls 352, Detroit Lakes 353, East Grand Forks 355, Park Rapids 357, Crosby-Ironton 358, Hawley 361, Mayer Lutheran 369, St. Cloud Apollo 379, Pine River-Backus 396, Pillager 403
Individual medalist: Trey Dole (Bem) 71
Brainerd results: Tommy Olson 86, Aaron Rich 90, Thomas Stoxen 81, T.J. Perpich 86, Thor Linerooth 92, Andrew Muesing 94
Staples-Motley results: Nick Forsberg 74, Michael Strain 76ß, Mitch Hagenson 88, Trent Hagenson 80, Andrew Israelson 76, Dakota Waverek 85
Crosby-Ironton results: James Cragun 91, Andy Sorben 84, Tom Burgstaler 82, Ko Uehara 101, Brett Midthun 101, Luke LeMieur 114
Pillager results: Logan Jackson 94, Dallas Ruis 106, Alex Holbrook 99, Jordan Engholm 104
Little Falls results: Jon Brill 90, Tom Smith 83, Kyler Erdman 89, Michael Stumpf 101, Andrew Nooter 85, Reed Hines 99
Pine River-Backus results: Saul Sasse 85, Cody Mager 87, Austin Stockman 112, Tyler McAllister 120, Jordan Lightner 112
Pequot Lakes results: Nevin Greer 86, Al Goerges 85, Kevin Beltz 91, Bradley Boldt 86, Cole Bliss 85, Nic Olmscheid 86
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5856.