24 April 2014

Boys Golf: Bad weather, great start

Jake Jensen scored an eagle on No. 7
The conditions were anything but ideal but a little cold, wind and rain weren't enough to prevent the Tigers from finishing second in the first Missota Conference meet of the season played Wednesday on their home course at Fountain Valley.

Coach Jon Holmes' upstarts finished with a team score of 321, just four strokes behind pre-season conference favorite Chanhassen. New Prague finished three shots back at 324, followed by Shakopee 326, Chaska 327, Red Wing 340, Holy Angels 364 and Northfield 365.

"Our boys battled the conditions and kept their mindset throughout the round," Holmes said. "It was 36 degrees and raining. Just being outside, let alone playing a four-hour round of golf can wear on anyone.

"It was a very solid start to the conference season for us and it will surely be a benchmark that we must now aim for the rest of the year." 

Jake Jensen shot a career-low round of 75 (39-36) to trail meet medalist Andrew Keisow of Chaska by a single shot in the individual standings.

Included in Jensen's day was an eagle on the par-four seventh hole where he holed out a 132-yard wedge shot.

Darby Grengs also played extremely well for the Tigers, shooting 80 (40-40) in the soggy conditions. Sam Newcomb finished his first-ever conference meet at 82 (42-40). Tyler VanWinkle carded 84 (45-39); Isaac Ferm 85 (43-42) and Lucas Berg 92 (47-45).

 "These guys live and breath golf and when you have a group of players that do that poor weather is always in their favor," Holmes said, "They just want to be out there no matter the conditions. Other players often find an excuse in the weather so it was a good test for our psyche to battle through it."

The previous day Farmington traveled to Stoneridge in Woodbury for a big meet that featured many of the top-rated teams in the state. Gusty winds and a tough course kept the scores higher than usual with the Tigers finishing well back in the pack at 345.

Grengs topped the Tiger score card with a 77  round that earned him a top-ten overall finish. Jensen shot 84, VanWinkle 91, Berg 93, Newcomb 94 and Ferm 98.

The Tigers hit the course again Monday when Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska plays host to the second Missota Conference meet of the season.