Hastings golfer Nick Tusa qualifies for state meet
The Hastings boys golf team placed third at the section golf tournament last week. That wasn't the finish the team was hoping for, but the good news was that the Raiders were able to qualify one golfer for the state meet.
Sophomore Nick Tusa qualified for the year's biggest meet by shooting a 155 over two days.
Hastings was in second place after the first day of play, sitting four shots behind East Ridge and two shots ahead of Eagan.
After nine holes on Friday, Hastings was tied with Eagan for the top spot and one shot ahead of East Ridge.
On the final nine holes, though, Hastings slipped and ended up losing by 10 shots.
"We made some double bogeys on the back that hurt us," coach Pete McGinnis said. "Some missed putts and tee shots caused some trouble. I know the boys are frustrated being that close, but we have no excuses."
Tusa had a 75 on the second day of play. He had an 80 on the first day. He will play 36 holes at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids on Tuesday and Wednesday. There will be 88 golfers competing at the state meet.
"Nick has a great opportunity to play well after posting his 75 there last Friday," McGinnis said. "Nick will play well because he keeps the ball in the fairway and hits a lot of greens."
Sam Otto was five-over-par after two holes, but then settled down and was just one-over the rest of the way. He finished with a 78.
Mark Huneke played well and shot an 82.
Matthew Radke and Jacob Cooper each shot 85s on the second day. Their first day of play was better, and both were hoping for better scores on Friday.
"(Those) two guys have played extremely well all year," McGinnis said. "It is tough to see them struggle, but they are very positive and will continue to get better. They have really raised the level of play for all the kids on the team."
Dominic Bacon had an 89.
Hastings didn't have a senior on varsity this year, but the team was still able to win the TPC tournament in Blaine, the Don Saatzer invite in Hastings and the conference championship.
"The kids have gained a lot of confidence this season and they know every time we are in a tournament or a conference match that we can win," McGinnis said. "We will return 55 out of the 57 kids from this year's team. We have three all- conference kids back in Matthew Radke as the No. 1 player in the conference, Nick Tusa and Jacob Cooper and Sam Otto as a honorable mention. Fitting into the top six spots will have a lot of completion. Our JV and B-squad completed a successful year as well."