Raiders in first place after Day 1 of golf sections
Things couldn't have gone much better than they did on Tuesday for the Hastings boys golf team. The Raiders shot a 303 to take a three-shot lead over East Ridge in the first round of the section golf tournament. The second round will be played Friday at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids.
The medalist was Sam Otto, who shot a one-over par 71. He had two birdies, 12 pars, three bogeys and one double bogey.
"Sam hit the ball extremely well today," coach Pete McGinnis said.
Matthew Radke had a 75. He had a big putt on the 17th hole, which he sank from about 25 feet out to save par.
Jacob Cooper was ill but still found a way to shoot a 77.
"We were not sure he was going to be able to play today, but he held it together and gave us a great score," McGinnis said.
Dominick Bacon had a 39 on the back nine on his way to an 80.
Mark Huneke and Nick Tusa followed up with 83s.
Hastings closed out the regular season with a thrilling win at Indian Hills, propelling them into first place in the conference and winning the crown.
The week before, Hastings finished ninth at an SEC tournament at River Oaks. McGinnis said the team figured it was out of the running, but since the points are doubled at the last tournament, McGinnis did some math and determined that if Hastings placed first and Forest Lake took fifth, Hastings could still emerge with the league title.
Cooper led the way for Hastings with a 71. He had a 33 on the back nine and had four birdies in his round.
Radke hit 13 greens in regulation and made four birdies on his way to a 76.
Huneke had a 77, including two birdies and 10 bars.
Sam Otto had a 79.
"Sam has really been playing well of late and continued with leading the team with 12 pars," McGinnis said. "He also made two birdies on the day and also was able to get up and down seven times. His short game has improved so much the past few weeks."
Bacon had an 80. He started with a 45 on the front nine, then shot a 35 on the back nine.
Tusa hit 10 greens in regulation and shot an 82.
"All six of these kids are able to be the low guy on the team," McGinnis said. "Our coaching staff is very proud of these kids for coming back the way they did. This conference has a lot of talent so to win back to back conference titles means a lot! After making 18 birdies last Thursday at Hastings and making 16 birdies today says a lot about our golf team."
At a tournament in Brainerd over the weekend, Hastings shot a 300 to win the title.
Otto had a 73, Radke had a 75, Cooper had a 75, Tusa had a 77, Huneke had an 80 and Bacon had an 86.