Raiders boys' golf sit second in the MEC; are playing well
The Hastings boys' golf team has had a busy last few weeks as their season is now in full swing. The Raiders currently sit second in the Metro East Conference after a great finish at the mid-conference tournament and they also placed fifth at their own Don Saatzer Invite against a tough field. Hastings is playing very well with just over three weeks left until their section meet at The Jewel Golf Club in Lake City.
Two weeks ago Wednesday (April 24), Hastings played a triangular against St. Thomas Academy and North St. Paul at Manitou Ridge Golf Course and took second with a score of 171 Juniors Terry Kuhn and Jack Klimek led the Raiders with 41s for the nine-hole meet, while sophomore Bailey Johnston shot a 43. Eighth-grader Charlie Williams came in with a 46, fellow eighth-grader Ryan Swanson added a 47 and junior Sam Brown contributed a 48.
The Raiders hosted the Don Saatzer Invite at Hastings Golf Club on Monday, April 29, where they finished fifth out of 13 teams with a score of 340. Wayzata was the tournament champion with a 313. Kuhn placed third as an individual with a 77—just two strokes off medalist Cooper Markham of Wayzata—while Brown shot an 85 and Klimek and Johnston 89s.
The next day was the mid-conference tournament at Oak Glen Golf Course in Stillwater where Hastings played phenomenal on their way to a second-place finish. They shot a 316—24 strokes better than the day before—and had two golfers place in the top-five individually. Klimek shot a 74 with four birdies and an eagle to take third and Kuhn shot a 75 for fourth, while Brown added an 81 which included an eagle on hole 11. Sophomore Joe Benson came in with an 86 and had a team-low 29 putts on the day. Johnston added a 90 and Swanson a 105.
"I know the boys were frustrated with the fifth-place finish the day before in the Saatzer tourney," said head coach Pete McGinnis. "We talked about how we needed to play with more confidence and put the bad holes behind us. We set a team goal of five birdies, the team recorded 8 with two eagles."
They then had a bit of a let down last Thursday, May 2, in a triangular against St. Thomas and Hill-Murray. The Raiders shot a 168 competed to the Pioneers' 159 and the Cadets' 148. However, they bounced back on Tuesday, May 7, against Tartan and Mahtomedi. Hastings shot a 157, one shot ahead of the Titans and three head of the Zephyrs. The Raiders trailed by seven strokes until Swanson came in with a nine-hole score of 36 to propel them to a one-shot victory.
"Ryan made two birdies on the day but it was his up and down on the ninth hole that gave us the victory," McGinnis said.
Kuhn was not far behind Swanson with a 38, Klimek shot a 41, Brown had a 42, Johnston added a 44 and Benson contributed a 45.
Hastings will take on Henry Sibley and South St. Paul at Southview Country Club on Thursday, May 9.