Top Class “AA” golfers set sights on State Title at Willow Run

Sports

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The state “AA” boys golf tournament starts Monday at Willow Run Golf Course. Roosevelt is the defending champion, but another pair of Sioux Falls schools stand among the favorites.

Building upon their runner-up finish at the State Golf Meet a year ago, the O’Gorman boys swept the All-City Meet and Metro Conference Meet titles this fall. Depth has been key to the Knights’ success

“We’ve got six players, all of which, they kind of know they don’t have to play their best, they got somebody behind them that can pull a score in. So they lean on each other a lot,” O’Gorman Golf Coach Tom Jansa said.

On the individual side, Lincoln senior Nash Stenberg has high aspirations after tying for second at last year’s state meet.

“Nerves affected me a little bit, but I felt I was ready for the moment just didn’t hit the shots I wanted to. Just didn’t end up winning. I mean there was a good player out there. It was tough, and in the end I came out on the wrong result. I think this year it’s going to be different. So I’m definitely ready to go,” Lincoln Senior Nash Stenberg said.

Stenberg is the lone senior on Lincoln’s roster, but the Patriots are a talented, and experienced team coming off a state runner-up finish a year ago.

“Two players this year who haven’t played in a state tournament so I’ll just give them the encouragement they need. And we have some guys who have had some success. We have two other state champions on the 2018 team, so these guys know how to play. I think our team is really ready to go, and we’re really looking forward to it,” Stenberg said.

Willow Run Golf Course will present its challenges.

“That course is going to play pretty different than they’re used to playing. You know the October weather, the fairways are getting a little bit drier, and the greens are getting a little bit firmer,” Lincoln Golf Coach Jeff Halseth said.

Managing your way around the course will be key.

“You can survive some birdies because you’re going to make some birdies at Willow, but you just can’t compound your errors and put big numbers up,” Jansa said.

But being familiar with the course will certainly help.

“That definitely helps to have that in the back of your head that you’ve had success there and played a lot of rounds there,” Stenberg said.

The class “AA” tournament starts Monday at Willow Run, while the state “A” meet is in Hot Springs.

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