BREEZY POINT - The Brainerd Warriors proved high school golf is indeed a team sport Wednesday.
The Warriors' Sam Holland could not defend his individual championship in the Ranger/Patriot Invitational at Deacon's Lodge, but the senior's 82 was the deciding score in Brainerd's fifth victory in the invite's eighth year.
Brainerd's top-four players combined to shoot 306, tying for first place with Class 1A's top-ranked Virginia. The deciding factor was pushed to each team's fifth score and for 2A's third-ranked Warriors that meant Holland's 82, which topped Virginia's No. 5 golfer.
"They say your team is only as good as your weakest player and that's not a nice thing to say, but in this case it comes through," said Warriors coach Brian Wallace. "Our highest scorer turns out to be the difference in the tie breaker. Again, that's just a testament to our team as a whole. An 82 is a good score on this course. It made the difference."
Mitch Means led the Warriors with a 2-over-par 74. He shot 37s on both nines. The senior carded two birdies and four bogeys and was even-par on the par 5s, which he said made the difficult Deacon's course fair.
"I kept my tee shots pretty straight and in play," said Means. "I hit a lot of fairways, which gave me a lot of chances to go at pins. I didn't miss a lot of putts, but I also didn't make a lot of putts either. I just played pretty solid and hit a lot of greens and then two putted."
Mean's missed medalist honors by one stroke as Virginia's Dan Bidle shot 73 to become the first non-area player to earn medalist honors at Deacon's.
Brainerd's Curt Carlson and Jared Hoppe both shot 77 to tie for fifth. Tyler Monda finished seventh with 78 and Holland placed 10th individually.
"We feel good pretty about today," said Means. "I know there were a few shots that we wish we could have back. I think we will make those shots at the end of the year. I think we're on pace to play really well at sections."
The Pequot Lakes Patriots, led by Jonas Dale's 83 and Tucker Sheley's 84, placed fourth.
Brad Quast's 85 helped Staples-Motley to fifth.
Pine River-Backus was seventh followed by Crosby-Ironton in eighth and Wadena-Deer Creek in ninth.
Brainerd's Tyler Monda putted from the fringe Wednesday at Deacon's Lodge. Brainerd Dispatch/Nels Norquist » Purchase reprints of this photo.
W-DC's Matt Kramer carded an 80 to finish ninth.
Brainerd's 306 broke the invite record, which the Warriors set last year with their 308.
"I'm really happy with the way they finished," said Wallace. "I talked to them while they were on the course and it didn't look like a good day for a while and they were down on themselves.
"They had to battle back and that's the really cool thing about what this team is doing. They are battling back, making some birdies and offsetting those bogeys. Sure they all missed a short put here and there, but they are fighting through that and that's a sign of a great team."
Team scores: 1-Brainerd 306, 2-Virginia 306, 3-Bemidji 337, 4-Pequot Lakes 341, 5-Staples-Motley 354, 6-Park Rapids 356, 7-Pine River-Backus 373, 8-Crosby-Ironton 388, 9-Wadena-Deer Creek 397
Individual medalist: Dan Bidle (Vir) 73
Top 10: 2-Mitch Means (Brd) 74 3-Tyler Hill (Vir) 75, 4-Jared Minthunen (Vir) 76 5t-Curt Carlson (Brd) 77, 5t-Jared Hoppe (Brd) 77, 7-Tyler Monda 78, 8-Greg Larson (Bem) 79, 9-Matt Kramer (WDC) 80, 10-Sam Holland 82
Team winner: Brainerd
Key: Sam Holland's 82 was the fifth and deciding score as Brainerd's and Virginia's top-four golfers tied with 306
Medalist: Dan Bidle (Virginia) 73
Next: Brainerd in CLC meet at Pebble Lake Golf Club, Fergus Falls 4 p.m. Thursday; Crosby-Ironton, Pequot Lakes at Virginia Invite at Quarry in Biwabik, noon Friday; Wadena-Deer Creek at Park Rapids Invite 9 a.m. Friday; Staples-Motley hosts Cardinal Invite at Vintage in Staples 8:30 a.m. Saturday
Brainerd results: Carlson 77, Hoppe 77, Means 74, Monda 78, Holland 82
Crosby-Ironton results: Derek Gaffney 91, Tyler Snook 91, Johnny Severson 106, Paul Kirchner 100
Pequot Lakes results: Jonas Dale 83, Tucker Sheley 84, Drake Beyer 86, Charlie Hollinbeck 88, Matt Michaelson 90
Pine River-Backus results: Tanner Johnson 92, Ben Kline 93, Josh Howe 94, Greg Nagel 94, Chris Newman 104
Staples-Motley results: Brad Quast 85, Nick Forsberg 87, Ben Duhn 92, Travis Myers 96, Eric Nelson 104
Wadena-Deer Creek results: Matt Kramer 80, Dylan Carlisle 104, Brandon Kramer 106, Andrew Browne 107, Michael Schmidt 112
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 327
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
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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