Mankato West picks up where they left off in 2019 with Big 9 championship victory
MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Mankato West’s boys’ golf team was named champions of the Big 9 Conference following a first-place finish in Wednesday’s conference tournament at Northern Hills Golf Course in Rochester.
The Scarlets shot a 300, which was 22-strokes better than second-place Northfield, although playing conditions were not exactly ideal.
“It was 85 and humid when we started, really windy. It was like that all the way until I was on hole 17, some people were on 16, a couple were on 18, and then it just started to pour. So, then we had about an hour rain delay and we were up, I think, 12 or 13 at that point. But, then we had to go back out and finish those past couple holes and all of our guys did really well,” senior Timothy Cain said.
West’s top-four scorecards came from seniors, Owen Bjork who had a low score of 68, accompanied by Leo Gellert who shot a 73 for third place, along with Cain who shot a 77, and Tyler Tosch with an 82.
“What we do at the first tee, is when they hit their tee shot, we erupt like it’s a tour event. We yell as loud as we possibly can and I think it shakes off the nerves, I know it does for me,” Cain added.
“The six guys we played with yesterday, it’s interesting people like (Timothy Cain) live their whole life playing golf. We have people that come to the game that are relatively older age high school-wise, we have someone who came to us from Alaska who played a little bit up there, everybody contributed, all these different backgrounds came together. The friendship they have and the comradery they have is really what makes them the big-time players they are,” head coach Jon Andersen said.
The Scarlet boys’ golf program has won five of the last six conference tournaments, accounting for two each season.
Anderson says this year’s group has the best shot at sending a team to the state championship.
“We knew what we had to do, our guys really prepare for the big time and really proud of the fact that when the stage is big and the stakes are bigger, we come through the best,” Andersen added.
Next up is the Section 2AAA Tournament, which is scheduled to begin next Wednesday.
“We have one of the top sections in all of golf with some really, really, top teams. We know it’s going to be competitive, we know there’s nothing easy going on there, but these are big time players and they’re going to step up big,” Andersen said.
The action is scheduled for Wednesday at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan.
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