Tigers gain ground

Published 11:35 pm Monday, May 23, 2011

Albert Lea junior Brady Falk watches his tee shot Monday during the Big Nine Conference meet at Green Lea Golf Course. Falk shot a 79 and Albert Lea tied for third with a 317. -- Andrew Dyrdal

The Albert Lea Tigers boys’ golf team made the most of a home course advantage Monday during the Big Nine Conference meet.

Playing at Green Lea Golf Course, the Tigers tied a season-low by shooting 317 and tied Owatonna and Rochester Mayo for third place. The score moved the Tigers from eighth to sixth in the final conference standings.

“It’s amazing we tied for third today,” Tigers coach Riley Worth said. “Teams we were losing to earlier in

Albert Lea ninth-grader Brent Nafzger watched his tee shot Monday at Green Lea Golf Course. -- Andrew Dyrdal

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the year we are now beating.”

Tigers ninth-grader Brent Nafzger led the Tigers with a 77 and earned All-Conference honors.

“It was a great way to cap off a great season,” Worth said, of Nafzger. “He was no doubt the most surprising player this season.”

Worth said at the beginning of the season, he wasn’t sure if Nafzger was the third or ninth best player on the team. He currently averages the second lowest score for the Tigers.

Brady Falk finished second for the Tigers with a 79 and recovered nicely after a shaky front nine.

Falk double-bogeyed Hole 1, pared No. 2 and bogeyed No. 3. Falk shot 41 on the front nine but 38 on the back, something Worth calls typical of a veteran golfer.

“(Falk) wasn’t satisfied at all with his score today,” Worth said. “But he took advantage on the back nine and passed a lot of people. He didn’t play his best but I’m really proud of him for being able to manage a 79 out of his round.”

Worth called Nafzger and Falk two of the most dedicated golfers he’s ever met.

“They’ll outwork everybody,” he said.

Lucas Peterson shot 80, and Adam Syverson shot 81 to round out the Tigers’ scoring. Brady Loch shot 83, and Nate Stadheim shot 85.

With the Tigers playing their best golf of the season, Worth said he’s “confident” the team can advance to the second round of the Section 1AAA meet. The Tigers open postseason play June 2 at Bellwood Oaks Golf Course in Hastings.