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Boys golf: Raiders fare well in two conference meets

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The Hastings boys golf team turned in a season-best score of 309 in a Suburban East Conference match at Highland National. Hastings finished fourth out of 10 teams.

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Nick Tusa and Jacob Cooper led the way for the Raiders with 76s. Matthew Radke had a 77 and Sean Eglington had an 80.

Sam Otto and Mark Huneke also played varsity for the Raiders. They had scores of 84 and 85, respectively.

Hastings had one eagle, turned in by Cooper, five birdies, 51 pars, 48 bogeys and three double-bogeys.

"The boys made some great up-and-downs from some very difficult spots to save par," coach Pete McGinnis said.

The course played at 6,638 yards.

"I thought the long par fours would be a problem today, but the kids did a great job of getting the ball in the right spots," McGinnis said. "We went on and hit greens in regulation, which we have struggled with of late."

Tusa hit 11 out of the 14 fairways. That lead, ultimately, to him hitting the greens in regulation.

"I've been struggling with that in the past," Tusa said. "It was a shorter course, so that allowed me to put a shorter iron into the green and put it on."

Tusa said the highlight of his round was sinking a 50-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole.

"I just got lucky, I guess, and hit it perfect," he said. "It broke a lot, but I put it in."

Radke and Eglington each hit nine of 14 greens in regulation.

Radke had one birdie, which came on the ninth hole. He hit a 3-wood off the par 4, which was playing at 370 yards. He took a 9-iron out of his bag and got to within five feet of the hole and made the birdie putt.

He finished with 11 pars, six bogeys and the one birdie.

"The course was a little easier than the ones we had been playing," Radke said. "It was more forgiving. There weren't as many hazards."

For Cooper, the highlight was obvious - the eagle on the par five sixth hole.

He hit his drive about 335 yards and 155 left to get to the green. He knocked his approach to within three feet of the cup and hit the put.

"I saw where it was going," he said of the approach shot. "It looked good. I was surprised it stayed right there."

In junior varsity play, eighth-graders Matt Peterson and Lucas Wagner each had 84s. Dominick Bacon, a freshman, also had an 84.

Tucker Piotrowski had a 93, Mike Dittrich had a 95 and Cole Carrigan had a 91.

Tuesday

The boys golf team won the conference match at Hastings on Tuesday with a 313. The boys finished first out of the 10 teams.

Tusa led the way with a 76. Cooper fired a 77, Matthew Radke and Sean Eglington shot 80s, Sam Otto shot an 81 and Dominick Bacon shot 83.

"The time and hard work on the course paid off today," McGinnis said. "The boys really held it together through the 18 holes. The course was in great shape, and with the rough thick and long we knew we had to keep the ball in the fairway. I was proud of the boys for coming back after a tough hole. We have talked all season about moving on after a bad shot."

Tusa was very consistent, shooting 37 on the front and 39 on the back.

"His course management was outstanding today," McGinnis said.

Cooper had one bad hole and shot 77.

"He has taken his game to the another level and continues to move forward," McGinnis said.

Eglington was able to two- putt from about 25 feet out on the 18th hole to secure the victory.

Otto battled back to shoot 81 after shooting 43 on the front side.

The section tournament begins Tuesday.

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Chad Richardson
Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
(651) 319-4500
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