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Boys golf team qualifies for state

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Boys golf team qualifies for state
Hastings Minnesota 745 Spiral Boulevard 55033

The Hastings boys golf team qualified for the state tournament by winning the section meet on Friday at Bunker Hills. Hastings beat East Ridge by two shots.

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The state meet is planned for Bunker Hills June 11-12.

"This is going to be fun," said Matthew Radke, one of the members of the team. "I just want to do better than I did last time (two years ago) and get the team to a top-three finish. That'd be nice."

"This was the ultimate goal," said Sam Otto, another one of the players. "Winning conference was No. 1, and then winning sections was next. This was the ultimate goal, and we got it."

The win over the Raptors appeared to be sealed when Otto sunk a putt on the 18th green, but it wasn't that easy for Hastings.

A scoring official had interpreted a score wrong on Radke's scorecard. The player who wrote down Radke's score for the 14th hole had written a six, which was correct. The figure, though, wasn't written real well and the ink was a bit smeared by the time the rules official reviewed the card. That prompted the official to interpret the score as a five and not a six, and the score posted for Radke was a 77 instead of a 78, which he knew he shot.

"I was walking out to watch Sam finish, and my dad (Brian) called me and said, 'Matthew, did you shoot a 77 or a 78?'

"I told him it was a 78, and he said they have 77 up on the board. I went up to the rules official right away and was like, 'I don't think that's right. I shot a 78.'"

That's when all kinds of drama ensued. The officials met, talked to Radke, talked to the coaches, talked to the player who wrote down Radke's score and then they met some more. Forty-five minutes passed.

"It was definitely a lot more fun than we wanted to have," Radke said. "I just fought and fought and fought all 45 minutes to get the call. (Coach Pete) McGinnis called me a lawyer after I was done. I just kept on fighting."

Radke said he couldn't imagine what he would have done had the score not been honored. He would have been disqualified and Hastings would have ended up placing second to East Ridge.

"It would have been brutal," he said. "I probably wouldn't have been outside for a long time."

"Matthew showed his integrity by telling the rules official the correct score," McGinnis said. "I could not have been more proud to see him explain the situation to the rules official."

On the course

Hastings players excelled on the back nine at Bunker Hills, sealing the win.

Jacob Cooper led the Raiders with a 74 in the finals. He had a 38 on the front nine and a 36 on the back nine, even after a double-bogey on the 17th.

"Jacob was sick on Tuesday and we knew a healthy Coop would come right back in and give us a great score," McGinnis said.

Cooper hit 12 greens in regulation and 13 fairways. On the fairways he missed, he was able to get up and down three times, including one time from a greenside bunker.

Matthew Radke had a 78. He had a 39 and a 39. Hit hit seven fairways and 12 greens.

Sam Otto had an 80. He had a 44 on the front nine and a 36 on the back nine.

Mark Huneke had an 83.

"He started the day with an impressive birdie on the first hole," McGinnis said. "Most of the golfers were playing it safe with an iron off the first tee, but Mark ripped a 300-yard drive and knocked it tight to the pin."

He had four birdies in his round and had just 30 putts on the day.

Nick Tusa had an 85 and Dominick Bacon had an 88.

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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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