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Raiders play four golf tourneys, win three

Jacob Cooper hits out of a sand trap in front of the 18th green at the Hastings Country Club on Monday during the Don Saatzer Invitational. Hastings won the meet. (Star Gazette photo by Chad Richardson)1 / 3
Matthew Radke watches his tee shot fly on the first hole at Hastings Country Club. (Star Gazette photo by Chad Richardson)2 / 3
Sam Otto gets out of trouble on the 18th hole Monday at the Hastings Country Club. (Star Gazette photo by Chad Richardson)3 / 3

Rainy weeks like last week force spring sports into all kinds of weird scheduling situations, and you need look no further than the Hastings boys golf team for proof of this.

The Raiders played an 18-hole tournament Monday morning, then another Monday afternoon, then another Tuesday morning, then another Tuesday afternoon.

Apparently 72 holes of golf in 36 hours, though, is no problem for the Raiders. The team won three of the four tournaments, including their own at the Hastings Country Club on Monday morning – the Don Saatzer Invitational.

“I was very pleased to see the boys play 72 holes and win three out of four tournaments,” coach Pete McGinnis said. “I was a bit concerned about the final 18  of the 72 holes, but the kids showed a lot of mental discipline and endurance. They walked over 20 miles in two days, spent 20 hours on the four different courses and played extremely well. The boys now have a nine-point lead in the conference standings.”

Hastings won the meet with a 307.

Sam Otto led the way for Hastings with a 74 to win the tournament. Dominic Bacon had a 77 to finish third, Jacob Cooper had a 78 and Mark Huneke had a 78 to round out the varsity scoring. Also playing were Nick Tusa (79) and Matthew Radke (81).

A total of 17 teams with 102 golfers competed at the tournament.

After that round, Hastings traveled to North Oaks, where they won a Suburban East Conference tournament with a 305.

Huneke was the top Hastings player with a 75.

On Tuesday morning, Hastings played at Bunker Hills and placed third with a 307. Radke led Hastings with a 72.

Following that tournament, Hastings traveled to the White Bear Lake Yacht Club. Cooper was the top Hastings player with a 74.

“Our depth really showed – we had four different low guys in the tournaments,” McGinnis said. “On any given day, anyone of the six could be our low guy.”

Hastings now has four of the top six golfers in the conference for stroke average, and the Raiders have won four straight conference matches.

“We’ve done pretty well,” Cooper said. “We’ve won the majority of our tournaments, and we’ve been pretty happy with all of our scores, except for one tournament, the Tri-State. Other than that, we’ve been pretty excited about what we’ve done so far. We need to keep doing what we’re doing and not get ahead of ourselves. We need to keep it simple.”


Among the highlights in a busy week included:

• Huneke needed just 29 putts at the yacht club. He one-putted five holes in a row.

• Otto hit 13 greens in regulation at North Oaks.

• Cooper is leading the team in stroke average and in pars made.

• In Bacon’s first time playing at the White Bear Lake Yacht Club, he shot a 78.

• Radke’s 72 at Bunker Hills was just two shots out of the lead. He hit a ball out of bounds on a par 5 and was still able to save par.


Here are scores for each Hastings player this week:

Cooper – 78, 74, 77, 76.

Radke – 81, 80, 78, 72.

Otto – 74, 80, 77, 74.

Huneke – 78, 77, 75, 76.

Tusa – 79, 76, 84, 91.

Bacon – 77, 78, 79, 82.