Tigers win final regular season match; host invitational last week

Published 9:06 pm Friday, May 19, 2023

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The Albert Lea boys’ golf team played in its final regular season match on Tuesday when they hosted three Big Nine Conference opponents. Visiting the Tigers were Winona, Rochester John Marshall and Rochester Mayo, who before the match was one point behind the Tigers for first place in the conference.

The Tigers started out shaky, trailing Mayo by six strokes at one point. Eventually, the boys found their rhythm and posted a team score of 293, their second lowest score in the past seven seasons.

Leading the Tigers was captain Drew Teeter who posted a 69 (-3). Following Drew was sophomore Archie Nelson with a 72 (even par). Rounding out the top four scorers were freshmen Ben Rasmussen and Noah Teeter who both put up 76’s (+4). Nick Belshan shot a 77 and Tim Chalmers shot a 78. While their scores did not count, coach Jeff Groth was extremely proud of the whole team.

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“This is the first time all 6 players had shot under 80 in the last 6 years,” Groth said. “These boys have worked so hard and have put in many hours to continue to improve their game. They deserve this and I am so proud to be their coach.”

Prior to that event, the team hosted the 2023 Albert Lea Invitational last Friday and Saturday at Green Lea Golf Course and Wedgewood Cove. This was a field that showcased many of the top teams in the state.

Highlighting the event were Spring Lake Park (#3 in the state), Holy Family Catholic (#6), Albert Lea (#10) and Lakeville North (#12). It also featured five of the top 20 individuals in the state with Jake Birdwell (#2), Evan Raiche (#12), Max Wolf (#17), Drew Teeter (#19) and Carter Spaulding (#20).

The weather was not very cooperative for the invite but fortunately the teams were able to get both rounds in. Friday at Green Lea was a wet start after all the rain the night before. A few greens had standing water but after some quick maintenance, it minimally affected the boys’ ability to use the greens. Saturday at Wedgewood was similar as they teed off at 9 a.m., most of the field got a few holes in before heavy rains, and lightning and thunder caused the course to pause the event for an hour to let the weather pass.

After the delay, the teams were able to finish out the round in pretty fair conditions. Winning the event was Spring Lake Park with a combined two-day score of 589. Holy Family Catholic came in second with a score of 600 and Albert Lea finished third with 605. The medalist for the event was Jake Birdwell from Spring Lake Park with a two-day score of 137 (71 and 66).