Gallery: Albert Lea improves on Day 2 of state golf tournament

Published 8:09 pm Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Brady Loch of Albert Lea chips the ball onto the green at The Ridges at Sand Creek Wednesday on Day 2 of the Class AA state golf tournament. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

Brady Loch of Albert Lea chips the ball onto the green at The Ridges at Sand Creek Wednesday on Day 2 of the Class AA state golf tournament. — Micah Bader/Albert Lea Tribune

JORDAN — All three of Albert Lea’s golfers moved up at least 12 places to finish in the top 50 of the 88-man field on Day 2 of the Class AA state tournament.

“It’s always more satisfying when you play two-day tournaments when you have your better day on the second day because — as our motto says — you can reflect on what you did, you can react to what went wrong, you can refocus and recover,” said Albert Lea coach Riley Worth. “If you do those things, you should be able to shoot a better score on the same golf course under similar conditions — which is what all of them did.”

Albert Lea broke the 40-stroke barrier in two of six nine-hole rounds on Day 1, and the Tigers made strides on Day 2 by completing all six rounds in the 30s. Albert Lea’s trio of golfers shaved a combined 24 strokes from their Day 1 total.

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Lucas Peterson led the Tigers with a score of 157, Brady Loch posted a 160 and Alex Syverson shot a 161 Wednesday at The Ridges at Sand Creek.

Peterson moved up from 49th place at the end of Day 1 to take 33rd. He shot a 37 on the front nine and a 39 on the back nine of Day 2.

“Lucas has been the consummate captain,” Worth said. “He’s what you want in a senior leader.”

After Peterson made the final putt of his high school career, a shot that gave him a score of 39 on the back nine and his third round in the 30s, he walked off the course with a smile.

“It was nice to be able to make one short putt to finish out my senior year and make it special,” Peterson said.

Next year, Peterson plans to play for the Winona State University golf team.

“I think Lucas’ game is still maturing,” Worth said. “He’s not at his peak yet. He’ll hopefully hit that peak in a few years in college. He’s so raw, so natural and such a great ball-striker.”

Loch, a junior, and Syverson, a sophomore, will be back next season to lead the Tigers.

Loch followed his Day 1 scores of 39 and 43 with a pair of 39s on Day 2. He entered the second day of the tournament in 56th place and moved up to 44th.

Syverson made the biggest leap in the standings. After posting a 47 and 41 on Day 1, he found his groove on Day 2. On the front nine, Syverson posted a score of 35 — Albert Lea’s best round of nine holes at the tournament — and he continued with a 39 on the back nine.

“They (Loch and Syverson) found their game at the right part of the year,” Worth said. “Hopefully, this acts as a stepping-off point into the real golf season, which is the summer.”

A group of parents and fans from Albert Lea followed the Tigers on the course.

Loch and Syverson said they appreciated the support.

“It’s kind of comforting to have aunts and uncles come and watch,” Syverson said. “People who I hadn’t seen for a long time were texting me and sending me emails. It’s cool to see the community come together. It’s a real tight-knit community, and that’s what we love about it.”

Albert Lea made the switch to Class AA this season after participating in Class AAA last year.

“As our first year in Class AA, I’d call this season pretty satisfying,” Worth said. “Their attitudes were good, their scores got better and they’ve got smiles on their faces.”