Nick Forsberg's key to better golf - Don't think too much.
The freshman for the Staples-Motley Cardinals has used that formula, along with a sweet swing and good course management, to win three invites, the Mid-Minn Conference individual title and to grab the first-round lead in the Section 6-2A tournament.
In the Nevis Invite May 11 at the Bear's Den, Forsberg shot 2-over-74. The next day he fired a 79 on the Lakes Course at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge to earn All-Mid-State Conference honors and lead the Cardinals to a tie for first in the conference championship meet.
"I'm just not thinking too much and just thinking about the shot that's ahead of me," said Forsberg. "I'm not thinking about what has happened, just about what shot I'm going to hit next."
Forsberg's fourth win of the season landed him the Mid-Minn Conference championship as he shot a 2-under-69 May 18 at Blueberry Pines in Menahga. The Cardinals also won the team title.
Key stat: Won the Mid-Minn Conference title.
"I was just playing really well," Forsberg said. "I was playing the wind the way I should be playing it. I was putting good and making shots that needed to be made."
He followed that round with a 73 to claim the first-round lead in the Section 6-2A tournament at the Territory Golf Club in St. Cloud. His round landed S-M in third place, eight shots behind the first-round team leader, and defending section champion, St. Cloud Cathedral.
"My goal was to shoot 74 or better," Forsberg said. "I heard the weather was going to be sunny with no wind, but then I heard a bunch of different things. My goal was to shoot 74 or better."
Forsberg's other wins this season were at The Vintage at Staples in the Cardinal Invite and in the Deacon's Invite at Deacon's Lodge. At the latter he tied Brainerd's Sean Halverson, who is ranked seventh in Class 3A, and topped him in a scorecard playoff.
He said that win was a big confidence boost.
"A lot has to do with confidence in Nick's game," said Cardinals head coach Glen Hasselberg. "He's well beyond his years in terms of skill level. It becomes a confidence thing and trusting your swing and your game.
"He's not physically big, but he's a strong young man. He just possesses every part of the game. He has all the tools."
Those tools helped Forsberg advance to the Class 2A state tournament as an eighth-grader last year. He complemented that with a summer full of Junior PGA events as well as the Lakes Area Pepsi Challenge.
Hasselberg said he expected big things from Forsberg this year.
"He's got a great temperament for this game in terms of not ever being too high or too low," said Hasselberg. "That's a credit to him.
"He's a real treat to watch play the game. He's got a different gear than a lot of players in terms of his performance."
Other notable performances:
Baseball: Mitch Woitalla, Pierz, finished 4-8 with five RBIs, two runs and a home run in a doubleheader against Howard Lake-Waverly.
Justin Ringler, Pillager, went 4-4 with six RBIs and struck out 11 in a win over New York Mills.
Golf: Drake Beyer, Pequot Lakes, shot 75 to tie for medalist at the St. Cloud Invite.
Track and field: John Omann, Dylan Peterson, Pierz, each won two events in the Central Minnesota Conference meet.
Clayton Foster, Pequot Lakes, won the 1600- and 3200-meter runs in the Mid-State Conference meet.
Andrew Knebel, Pillager, won the 110 hurdles and high jump in the Park Region Conference championship meet.
Josh Ganz, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale, won the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the Park Region Conference championship.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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