BREEZY POINT - It took the fifth handicap hole for Nick Forsberg to become the second Staples-Motley Cardinal to win the Deacon's Invite Wednesday.
His 75 also helped the Cardinals win the team title for the second time in the tournament's 10-year run.
Forsberg shot nines of 40-35 to tie with Brainerd's Sean Halverson. The two matched each other's score hole-for-hole until the fifth hardest hole on the Arnold Palmer designed course. Forsberg pared the 520-yard par 5 second hole, while Halverson scored a bogey.
"I'm just thinking straight now," said Forsberg, who also won the Cardinal Invite earlier this year. "I'm never giving up. Lately my putting has been pretty bad, but I went and got a new putter and I putted great today."
Forsberg joins Pat Helling as the only other Cardinal to win at Deacon's. That was in 2003, the same year the team won and went on to finish fourth in state.
Staples-Motley's Nick Forsberg was happy as his birdie putt on the par 5 12th hole of Deacon's Lodge went in Wednesday during the Deacon's Invite, which he won with a 75 in Breezy Point. Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey » Purchase reprints of this photo.
Zach Isrealson and Tanner Roberts both shot 78 and Michael Strain shot 81 to help S-M break Brainerd's string of four-straight team wins and top the second-place Warriors by 10 strokes.
Isrealson went 41-37 with one birdie on the par 5 14th. Tanner Roberts shot his career low with a 40-38. His round included a quadruple bogey, but he birdied four holes to recover.
"It seems like everyone was having a good day," said Roberts, who said his putter was rolling true. "It's a lot of fun to be on a team that is this deep. Plus, the guys are a lot of fun. Right now we have good team morale and we have five guys that can score in the 70s.
"Our goal is state and it's going to take more days like this to get there."
Brainerd's 322 was its low round of the year. Halverson shot nines of 39-36 for his 75. He carded one birdie on the par 4 10th. Michael Foley broke out of a season-long slump to shoot a season-best 79. The Warriors also got a kick start from some new faces. Freshman Tommy Olson scored an 83 and seventh-grader Thomas Stoxen shot 85.
"I had a back injury and I'm just starting to get back from it," said Foley. "I haven't really felt down on myself this whole year, well maybe at some points. I was hitting the ball really well this weekend. I didn't shoot the scores I wanted too. Then in our two qualifying rounds I played pretty good and started to hit it better."
Stoxen's dad, Steve, is head coach of the Pequot Lakes Patriots, who finished fifth thanks to Jonas Dale's 79 and Charlie Hollinbecks' 84.
Colton Berg's 86 placed Wadena-Deer Creek in sixth followed by Crosby-Ironton in seventh and Pine River-Backus in eighth.
"The fairways were good and the tee boxes were good," said Forsberg. "I thought the greens were OK. They were aerated so they were a little bumpy, but I thought the course was playing good today."
Team scores: 1-Staples-Motley 312, 2-Brainerd 322, 3-Bemidji 328, 4-Detroit Lakes 332, 5-Pequot Lakes 337, 6-Wadena-Deer Creek 361, 7-Crosby-Ironton 365, 8-Pine River-Backus 374, 9-Nevis 375, 10-Esko-Carlson 378, 11-Park Rapids 391, 12-United North Central 410
Medalist: Nick Forsberg (SM) 75
Top 10: 2-Sean Halverson (Brd) 75, 3t-Zach Israelson (SM) 78, 3t-Jonas Dale (PL) 78, 3t-Kevin Larson (Bem) 78, 3t-Tanner Roberts (SM) 78, 7-Michael Foley (Brd) 79 , 8-Austin Rusness (DL) 80, 9t-Joe Welle (Bem) 81, 9t-Michael Strain (SM) 81
Brainerd results: Tommy Olson 83, Thomas Stoxen 85 Michael Monda 90, Jackson Ronnei 93
Crosby-Ironton results: Tyler Snook 88, Ryan Donovan 91, James Cragun 92, Johnny Melanich 94, Mitch Gutzman 95, Corey Barutt 115
Pequot Lakes results: Charlie Hollinbeck 84, Michael Eck 87, Drake Beyer 88, Wesley Johnson 91, Nic Johnsen 96
Pine River-Backus results: Ben Kline 88, Greg Nagel 88, Aaron Richards 97, Adam Barstow 101, Cody Mager 101, Brady Korwin 104
Staples-Motley results: Travis Myers 87, Derek DeYonge 106
Wadena-Deer Creek results: Colton Borg 86, Brandon Kramer 91, Andrew Browne 91, Tyler Fix 93, Bryan Silvers 94, Bryce Pazdernik 96
Past Deacon's Invite results:
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
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
East Conference standings: 1-Pequot Lakes 187, 2-Crosby-Ironton 112, 3-Pine River-Backus 92.5, 4-Park Rapids 62.5
West Conference standings: 1-Staples-Motley 182.5, 2-Nevis 110.5, 3-Wadena-Deer Creek 98.5, 4-United North Central 59
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.
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