BREEZY POINT — Nick Forsberg is going to miss Deacon’s Lodge next year.
The Staples-Motley senior made it three individual titles in four years at the Arnold Palmer designed course as he shot 71 Wednesday to pace the 10-team field at the Deacon’s Invite.
It took four holes in the scorecard playoff formate to win it, however, as teammate Michael Strain also shot 71. Those scores along with Andrew Israelson’s 79 and Trent Hagenson’s 81 helped S-M shoot a 302. The Brainerd Warriors, led by Thomas Stoxen’s even-par 72, also shot 302. That’s when Mitch Hagenson became popular. The Cardinals’ fifth scorer shot an 83 to better the 84s shot by Brainerd’s Nik Helland and T.J. Perpich to hand S-M the team title.
“We know we are going to consistently have three scores in the 70s,” said Forsberg. “I know that and then the other one is close. We all know we could have shaved off even more strokes. Our goal is to be in the 290s. We want to be under 300 every time. We know if we can do that we have a great chance of doing good things.”
It’s the third team title for the Cardinals in the tournament’s 13-year history. The 302 is s tournament record and Forsberg’s and Strain’s 71 is the individual record.
Yet, Forsberg isn’t satisfied.
“I was hitting the ball well, but there were some shots I left out there,” Forsberg said. “I had an opportunity to go low. I didn’t, but I’m continuing the low rounds and that’s what I’m staying positive about.
“It’s frustrating not to be in the 60s yet, though.”
The six-year varsity veteran shot nines of 35-36. He birdied holes 7 and 9, but opened the back nine with a double bogey on the 10th. Forsberg birdied holes 12 and 16 for his 1-under score.
“I made a really good hit on my tee shot, I just wasn’t thinking about not being able to play a big sweeping draw on that hole,” said Forsberg about his double. “I just forgot about it. I was 1-over after that hole and I just thought to myself, ‘I can get it back.’ I wasn’t worried. I was hitting the ball well and I was putting pretty good. I just needed to roll a few more in.”
Peaking at the right time is Forsberg’s goal and helping the Cardinals return to state is his other.
Making it to state is also the goal of a Warrior team that continues to grow in confidence.
“We know we have a chance at sections,” Stoxen said. “We have great chemistry on this team. All six guys come in with good scores every time. We expect to win sections and go to state as a team. I think that’s a pretty solid goal for us. I think we can definitely do it.”
Stoxen’s 72 placed him third. Michael Foley’s 75 put him fourth followed by Tommy Olson’s fifth-place 77 and Aaron Rich’s seventh-place 78.
For Stoxen it was a matter of staying away from the big number.
“I was hitting the ball very good and making solid contact,” said Stoxen. “I hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens. I was confident with the way I’ve been hitting the ball, but my putting has been a bit of a struggle. Other than that, this is a great course and it’s a great day. I’m just lucky to be out here playing.”
Pequot Lakes finished third with a 324. Nevin Greer tied Rich for seventh and Alex Goerges shot 79 to tie Israelson for ninth.
Crosby-Ironton, led by the fifth-place 77 of James Cragun, finished fifth. Pine River-Backus was sixth and Wadena-Deer Creek 10th.
The win also sealed the regular season Mid-Minn Conference title for the Cardinals. S-M, C-I, Pequot and Park Rapids all advanced to the conference finals with PR-B’s Saul Sasse and Cody Mager and W-DC’s Jacob Goeden advancing as individuals.
Team scores: 1-Staples-Motley 302, 2-Brainerd 302, 3-Pequot Lakes 324, 4-Moorhead 340, 5-Crosby-Ironton 343, 6-Pine River-Backus 354, 7-Park Rapids 355, 8-United North Central 375, 9-Nevis 385, 10-Wadena-Deer Creek 418
Individual medalist: Nick Forsberg (SM) 71
Top 10: 2-Michael Strain (SM) 71, 3-Thomas Stoxen (Brd) 72, 4-Michael Foley (Brd) 75, 5t-Tommy Olson (Brd) 77, 5t-James Cragun (CI) 77, 7t-Aaron Rich (Brd) 78, 7-Nevn Greer (PL) 78, 9t-Alex Goerges (PL) 79, 9t-Andrew Israelson (SM) 79
Brainerd results: Michael Foley 75, Tommy Olson 77, Aaron Rich 78, Thomas Stoxen 72, Nik Helland 84, T.J. Perpich 84
Crosby-Ironton results: James Cragun 77, Andy Sorben 87, Tom Burgstaler 88, Ko Uehara 95, Gage Hartman 91, Matt Donovan 104
Pequot Lakes results: Alex Goerges 79, Nevin Greer 78, Cole Bliss 82, Kevin Beltz 85, Nic Olmscheid 88, Trenton Beyer 100
Pine River-Backus results: Saul Sasse 89, Cody Mager 84, Tyler McAllister 130, Austin Stockman 93, Jordan Lightner 88, Austin McAllister 129
Staples-Motley results: Nick Forsberg 71, Michael Strain 71, Andrew Israelson 79, Trent Hagenson 81, Dakota Waverek 85, Mitch Hagenson 83
Wadena-Deer Creek results: Jacob Goeden 93, Wesley Johnson 106, Konner Stueve 117, Jacob Salge 107, Matthew Quincer 112, Jordan Kern 118
Mid-Minn standings: 1-Staples-Motley 220.5, 2-Pequot Lakes 149, 3-Crosby-Ironton 118.5, 4-Park Rapids 107.5, 5-UNC 104, 6-Nevis 74, 7-Pine River-Backus 72.5, 8-Wadena-Deer Creek 49
2011: Moorhead 303
2010: Brainerd 313
2009: Staples-Motley 312
2008: Brainerd 331
2007: Brainerd 306
2006: Brainerd 308
2005: Brainerd 318
2004: Fergus Falls 320
2003: Staples-Motley 320
2002: Shattuck-St. Mary’s 335
2001: Brainerd 45-over par for 15 holes
2000: Brainerd 325
2011: Nick Forsberg, SM 73
2010: Sean Halverson, Brd 74
2009: Nick Forsberg, SM 75
2008: Tyler Monda, Brd 77
2007: Dan Bidle, Virginia 73
2006: Sam Holland, Brd 75
2005: Tom Boyer, Brd 73
2004: Tom Boyer, Brd 74
2003: Pat Helling, SM 76
2002: Lucas Brick, Brd 79
2001: Michael Grieme, WDC 4-over par for 15 holes
2000: Ben Barr, Shattuck St. Mary’s 77
JEREMY MILLSOP, sports writer, may be reached at 855-5856. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop