In less than desirable conditions, Brainerd Warrior boys' golfer Jared Hoppe excelled.
Facing a 25 mph wind and constant rain, the freshman carded a 77, finished with a two-day total of 157 and parred a playoff hole to edge Paul Sjoberg of Thief River Falls in the final round of the Section 8, Class 2A tournament Monday at Greystone Golf Course in Sauk Centre.
Hoppe's sizzling second round qualifies him for the 2A state tournament June 8-9 at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids.
The Warriors finished second as a team with a two-day total of 638. Alexandria won the section title with a 621.
"I knew I was going up against real good player," Hoppe said. "He had the press and I was the underdog. I had a good drive down the middle and put my second shot on the green. He missed the green and had a bad chip. I left my first putt three feet away and put the par putt right in the middle of the hole."
Hoppe's ability to keep his drives in the fairway was a big reason for his success.
"Jared hits the ball real straight and, with the wind and the conditions, that really helped his game," Warriors coach Brian Wallace said. "He didn't have to shape his shots and instead kept the ball under the wind."
Hoppe's mental game was as good as his golf game as he turned in the second-lowest round of the day.
"Jared's mental state was perfect," Wallace said. "He didn't get nervous. He wasn't anywhere close to qualifying after the first day. The other players couldn't handle the conditions and he slipped under the radar."
After a blistering 75 on the first day, Brainerd's Tommy Boyer fired an 84, finishing two strokes from qualifying for state. Zack Lundbohm followed his 73 from the first day with a 90 Monday to finish at 163.
Team scores (two-day total) -- 1-Alexandria 621, 2-Brainerd 638, 3-Detroit Lakes 643, 4-Fergus Falls 645, 5-St. Cloud Tech 649, 6-St. Cloud Apollo, 7-Thief River Falls 662
Medalist -- Mike Kulzer (Sauk Rapids) and Jon Sauer (Tech) 147s
Other individual state qualifiers -- Jake Zilkoski (Tech) 155, Eric Woodworth (Apollo) 156, Jared Hoppe (BRD) 157
Brainerd two-day totals -- Tommy Boyer 159, Zack Lundbohm 163, Jase Renneke 168, Clinton Strother 168, Dustin Vickerman 170.
Little Falls two-day total -- Bjorn Hedmen 161.
Next meet -- Hoppe in Class 2A state tournament June 8-9 at Bunker Hills, Coon Rapids.
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