Tigers miss Big Nine title by 3 strokes

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 21, 2002

AUSTIN &045; When adding up the scores with one individual remaining for each team in the Big Nine Conference Boys’ Golf Tournament, one town was mentioned by several coaches as the apparent winner: Albert Lea.

They spoke a little too soon.

Rochester Century’s No. 6 golfer came in with a 79, leaving the Tigers three strokes away from the conference championship.

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&uot;That hurts. That hurts,&uot; said Albert Lea coach Doug Christopherson as the final scores were posted at Austin Country Club Monday.

The official final tally had the Tigers one point away from the title. Albert Lea and Century were both 8-1 in regular-season meets, giving them eight points, and teams get one additional point for every team they beat in the conference tournament.

&uot;It was close,&uot; said senior Ryan Thompson. &uot;That’s about all I can say.&uot;

While disappointed in the second-place finish, Christopherson said the Tigers played well in cool, windy conditions.

&uot;We had an extremely good day,&uot; said Christopherson. &uot;You have to congratulate Century, they were three strokes better than us.&uot;

The Panthers had two 77s and two 79s for an 18-hole total of 312. The Tigers had 315, followed by Faribault and Mankato West at 320, Mankato East 321, Rochester Mayo 331, Owatonna and Winona 336 and Austin 354.

Thompson, the lone senior in the Tigers’ lineup, finished second overall with a 76, two strokes behind two-time medalist Mike Fiedler of Faribault. Thompson had a 35 on the front side.

Dan Breuer and Adam Elseth both shot 78, tying for sixth overall. Adam Boelter and Josh Jones carded 83, Jon Breuer 84.


We needed four scores under 80,&uot; said Christopherson. &uot;They got it today and we didn’t.&uot;

But Christopherson said the season is far from finished and he looks for good things in the Section 1AA tournament that starts Thursday.

&uot;We learned a lot today,&uot; said Christopherson. &uot;We’re looking forward to Thursday already.&uot;

Winona Country Club, where the Tigers played their final regular-season meet last Friday, hosts the first 18 holes of the section on Thursday. The top eight teams advance to Tuesday’s final 18 at Bellwood Oaks near Hastings.