SAUK CENTRE — As much as Michael Foley and Tommy Olson wanted their Brainerd Warrior team to qualify for state, they will settle for advancing to the 3A state tournament as individuals.
Foley finished fifth with a 2-day 148, while Olson won a playoff at Greystone Golf Club as both qualified for their first state tournament appearances in their final prep seasons.
“It’s really cool,” Foley said of qualifying. “It’s nice to get it done before I’m done.”
State qualifying capped an eventful spring for Olson, who in April was named the Warriors’ male athlete of the year at the Brainerd all-sports banquet.
“It’s a great way to cap off a good year,” Olson said. “Hopefully, I’ll play well down there (at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids).”
The Warriors, who were fourth after Monday’s opening round, moved up one place and finished third with a 2-day total of 612. Moorhead captured the championship by smashing two, possibly three, section records.
The Spuds shot a section-record 2-day total 581. They shot a second-day total of 5-under-par 283, which is possibly a one-day team state record. It is a section record.
In addition, Moorhead’s Bryant Buckellew smashed three records. He shot a 2-day section-record 6-under-par 138. He posted a 7-under 65 Tuesday, another section record and a Greystone Golf Club junior record.
“The kids said we tied for our best round of the year by the team, so we’re pretty happy with that,” Warriors assistant coach Troy Nelson said. “We’re disappointed not to make the state tournament, but the kids played well, especially today where they tied their best round. We knew Moorhead’s score would be awful tough to beat. They were 15 under today, which is pretty tough.
“But it’s exciting to have Michael and Tommy qualify for state. Michael had two great rounds, Tommy had two solid rounds also.”
Foley shot 73 Tuesday after a first-round 75.
“Both days I hit the ball pretty well,” Foley said. “My putting was not great. I missed quite a few short putts, which was frustrating, but I closed with a birdie on 9, which was really nice.
“I just held it together well. I think I was 2-over after three holes. I just had to take a few deep breaths, get under control, and I was pretty well set the rest of the round.”
Olson parred No. 10, the first playoff hole, to nip Buffalo’s Dan Bollant and Alexandria’s Austin McCulloch, both of whom bogeyed the hole. A playoff was necessitated when Olson, Bollant and McCulloch shot 153s in regulation.
“When I was walking to the 10th, I saw a lot of my teammates giving me a lot of support,” Olson said. “It was good for my confidence. I was really nervous, but that helped calm me down. It was exciting to have a chance to play in it.”
Olson carded seven pars, a birdie and bogey on the back nine.
“I held it together on the back nine,” he said. “I made a ton of pars so I was happy with it.”
Brainerd’s Nik Helland tied for 17th with a 2-day 157 following a 77 Tuesday. Thomas Stoxen and Aaron Rich tied for 24th with 161s. T.J. Perpich was 29th at 162.
Team scores: 1-Moorhead 298-283-581, 2-Alexandria 309-300-609, 3-Brainerd 310-302-612, 4-Buffalo 308-309-617, 5-Bemidji 312-312-624, 6-St. Cloud Tech 316-327-643
Individual medalist: Bryant Buckellew (Moor) 73-65-138
Individual state qualifiers: Nick Brundell (Alex) 147, Michael Foley 148, Trey Dale (Bem) 151, Hunter Bruhn (Buff) 152, Tommy Olson (Brd) 153
Brainerd results: Michael Foley 75-73-148, Tommy Olson 77-76-153, Nik Helland 80-77-157, Thomas Stoxen 81-80-161, Aaron Rich 85-76-161, TJ Perpich 78-84-162
Next: Foley, Olson in Class 3A state tournament at Bunker Hills Golf Club, Coon Rapids, June 12-13.