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Boys golfers meet tough competition at home

As a team, the Hastings boys golfers had too many strokes to contend for the Tri-State Tournament title. The Raiders scored 689 and placed 23rd out of 24 teams at the two-day tournament last weekend. Rogers won the tournament with a score of 610.

Raiders head coach Pete McGinnis knew the competition would be tough.

"These are the best golfers in the state," he said of the other teams at the tournament.

Still, he said that the Raiders didn't feel they played their best.

"We just weren't very consistent," McGinnis said.

A few bad tee-offs put the Raiders in a rut they just couldn't climb out of.

"Each hole became a battle after not getting off the tee box," McGinnis said.

The best individual tournament score was a 145 from an Orono junior. The best rounds for the Raiders came from seventh-grader Matt Radke with a two-day score of 162 (80, 82).

"He's doing a lot of the little things right," McGinnis said.

Radke has a good short game, but he's also keeping up with his older teammates off the tees.

"He has the distance of a varsity kid, of a senior," McGinnis said.

Hastings High School senior Max Fox, who won the section tournament last year, shot a 174 (86, 88).

Fox hasn't had the best start this season, "but it's early and he's going to continue to work at it ... and I'm expecting him to be right back in there," McGinnis said.

He added that Fox has been with the Raiders a long time and should have no trouble making his way back to the top.

Junior Brock Johnson shot 173 (84, 89); eighth-grader Jake Cooper shot 180 (91, 89); eighth-grader Nick Tusa shot a 93 (day one only); and senior Bryce Martin shot 94 (day two only).

After the Tri-State Tournament, the Raiders got a week off to practice.

"We're just going to go right back to the basics," McGinnis said.

The boys will play at the Don Saatzer invitational Monday at the Hastings Country Club. Tuesday they play against Woodbury, and next Saturday they'll golf in the Dakota County Championship.