PEQUOT LAKES - Sean Halverson's first words upon completion of his wind-swept round at Grand View Lodge's Preserve Thursday were, "I left a lot on the course."
That was music to the ears of Brainerd head coach Brian Wallace as his No. 1 player battled back from a rocky start to shoot even-par 72 on the resort course that was set up short, but tough, and win the Patriot Invite.
"What's amazing about the way Sean is playing right now, he's shooting even par or better, but he's still saying he can score better on the next round," said Wallace.
Halverson, who shot 2-under-par in Tuesday's Central Lakes Conference meet at Wapicada in Sauk Rapids, carded bogeys on three of his first five holes. He birdied the par 5 16th to post a back nine (his first nine) 38. The junior than rattled off birdies on holes 2, 4 and 7 to shoot 34 on the front and win by seven strokes.
Individual: With an even-par 72, Brainerd's Sean Halverson proved he's on the top of his game.
Team: Pequot Lakes is good and on Thursday the Patriots were two strokes better than the field.
"I've been hitting the ball a lot better as the last few days progressed," said Halverson. "Everything kind of clicked today. I was able to find my way around the greens. I just lagged it close and two-putted for pars and that got me around."
The Pequot Lakes Patriots won the team title thanks to Jonas Dale's third-place 80, Drake Beyer's fifth-place 81 and Charlie Hollinbeck's 82. Michael Eck posted an 86 to give Pequot 329, two strokes better than the Warriors.
Dale recovered from a front-nine 44, that included an 8, to shoot even par on the back nine. Dale doubled the 13th before birdies on 14 and 17.
"I just made some bad decisions on that eight," said Dale. "The next hole I bogeyed and that was just frustration and another bad choice. I just told myself that the back nine is easier and just grind it out and hopefully you come in with a good score.
"I knew I could come back. I was thinking 44-36 and it worked out, but I didn't think I was actually going to do it."
Beyer's lone birdie came on his first hole, the par 5 first. Hollinbeck eagled it.
The victory was Halverson's second of the year. He also finished second at the two-day Pequot Invite played at The Pines and The Preserve with rounds of 76-78.
"I hit the ball a lot better today, but I putted well at Wapicada," said Halverson. "With the wind you just had to pick a club and trust the swing and make it a good one."
Travis Myers fired an 82 followed by Zach Israelson's 84, Nick Forsberg's 85 and Michael Strain's 86 to land the Staples-Motley Cardinals in third.
Crosby-Ironton placed seventh and was led by Tyler Snook's 87. Ben Kline's 88 landed the Pine River-Backus Tigers in eighth. Wadena-Deer Creek was 11th and Aitkin 13th.
"If we're going to do well in our section, we're going to have to have some of the other guys step up and score better," Wallace said. "85s and 86s isn't going to get it done no matter how good your No. 1 guy is. You've got to come in closer to 80 or better."
Team scores: 1-Pequot Lakes 329, 2-Brainerd 331, 3-Staples-Motley 337, 4-Grand Rapids 338, 5-Detroit Lakes 341, 6-Moorhead 361, 7-Crosby-Ironton 372, 8-Pine River-Backus 376, 9-Nevis 383, 10-United North Central 392, 11-Wadena-Deer Creek 393, 12-Park Rapids 395, 13-Aitkin 401
Individual medalist: Sean Halverson (Brd) 72
Aitkin results: Justin Petrie 96, Sam Dally 98, Derek Erickson 103, Kyle Thompson 104, Keith Wasserzeiher 110, Ryan Abraham 126
Brainerd results: Jackson Ronnei 85, Michael Monda 86, Michael Foley 88, Tim Thorson 92, Will Feyder 98
Crosby-Ironton results: Tyler Snook 87, Ryan Donovan 90, James Cragun 97, Mitch Gutzman 99, Andy Sorben 102, Corey Barutt 106
Pequot Lakes results: Jonas Dale 80, Drake Beyer 81, Charlie Hollinbeck 82, Michael Eck 86, Peter Beltz 92, Levi Espeseth 95
Pine River-Backus results: Ben Kline 88, Greg Nagel 90, Brady Korwin 98, Cody Mager 100, Aaron Richards 101, Adam Barstow 108
Staples-Motley results: Travis Myers 82, Zach Israelson 84, Nick Forsberg 85, Michael Strain 86, Tanner Roberts 88, Logan Swensrud 103
Wadena-Deer Creek results: Tyler Fix 94, Bryce Pazdernik 95, Brandon Kramer 99, Bryan Silvers 105, Colton Borg 106, Daniel Suhl 116
Mid-Minn East team scores: 1-Pequot Lakes 56.5, 2-Crosby-Ironton 29.5, 3-Pine River-Backus 26, 4-Park Rapids 17.5
Mid-Minn West team scores: 1-Staples-Motley 41.5, 2-Wadena-Deer Creek 21, 3-Nevis 17.5, 4-United North Central 13.5
Individual medalist: Jonas Dale (PL) 80
Conference standings: East - 1-Pequot Lakes 105, 2-Crosby-Ironton 8.5, 3-Pine River-Backus 42.5, 4-Park Rapids 29.5; West - 1-Staples-Motley 81.5, 2-Crosby-Ironton 60.5, 3-Wadena-Deer Creek 47, 4-UNC 22.5
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.
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