ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Class AA state boys golf: 'Jacks battle through weather, slow start on day one

Cloquet will enter day two of the Class AA tournament in seventh place out of eight teams after posting a team score of 332.

Golfer hits chip shot
Cloquet junior Karson Patten chips it on the green during the first day of the Class AA state golf tournament held Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Course in Jordan.
Jake Przytarski / Cloquet Pine Journal
We are part of The Trust Project.

JORDAN — A formidable combination of sweltering heat and gusting winds in excess of 20 mph made for ultra-challenging playing conditions on day one of the Class AA boys state golf tournament held Tuesday, June 14 at Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Course.

The less-than-ideal weather coupled with a slow start led to a difficult opening-round showing for the defending state champion Lumberjacks. Cloquet currently sits in seventh place out of the eight teams in contention with a team score of 332 (+44) after previously posting a team score of 300 on day one of last year’s tournament.

Golfer follows through on swing
Cloquet sophomore Cooper Ellena uses his driver on the 10th hole during the Class AA state golf tournament held Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Course in Jordan.
Jake Przytarski / Cloquet Pine Journal

“I think the wind got the better of us, and then we kind of had a little bit of a slow start coming out and got a little demoralized. And they weren’t able to rally themselves,” Cloquet head coach Aaron Young said reflecting on the team's first round performance. “So I mean the whole mental weakness today, that (is something) they need to figure out tonight and get ready to come back tomorrow.”

Young said it’s a matter of powering through the bad shots and focusing on the next one.

“The big thing we just need to realize is every single person is playing on the same course and everybody’s going to have shots that the wind grabs,” Young said. “You just have to stay focused on your next shot and forget the last one, and keep trying to grind out the best round you can and see what happens.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Junior Karson Patten was the team leader through 18 holes after posting a five-over 77 (38-39) to put him in a tie for eighth place among the 85 individual golfers in contention. Patten, who finished eight over par in his opening round at last year’s tournament, said his familiarity with the course played a role in his success.

“It really helps to play this course, because you know what clubs to hit off the tee. It’s hard when it’s this windy though,” Patten said.

Golfer attempts a putt
Cloquet freshman Karson Young attempts a putt during day one of the Class AA state golf tournament held Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan.
Jake Przytarski / Cloquet Pine Journal

When asked how to combat the windy playing conditions, Patten admitted there’s not a whole lot you can do.

“You just kind of hit it and pray that the wind doesn’t do something bad,” Patten said with a smile.

Senior Jacob Walsh had the second-lowest score of the day for Cloquet with a 10-over 82 (41-41) and currently sits in a nine-way tie for 32nd place. Freshman newcomer Lance Sayler rounded out the top three scores for the ‘Jacks with a 14-over 86 (43-43) and is in a five-way tie for 63rd.

Sayler said he approached Tuesday’s round much like he did for the Section 7AA tournament at The Quarry at Giant’s Ridge by keeping his tee shots in play and setting himself up with makeable putts on the green.

“Just put yourself in a good position (and) hit the fairway,” Sayler said of his strategy. “Try to get yourself in a good spot on the green, there can be some spots where you get tested a little bit.”

Golfer makes a putt
Cloquet freshman Lance Sayler sinks his putt attempt during the first day of the Class AA state golf tournament held Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Course in Jordan.
Jake Przytarski / Cloquet Pine Journal

Sophomore Anders Gunelson (87, 43-44), freshman Karson Young (87, 42-45) and sophomore Cooper Ellena (92, 49-43) were the bottom-three finishers for the Lumberjacks on day one.

ADVERTISEMENT

The tournament will conclude Wednesday, June 15, with tee-off set to begin at 7:30 a.m.

1. Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa, 309 (+21). 2. Totino-Grace, 320 (+32). 3. Roseau 322 (+34). 4. Holy Family Catholic 326 (+38). 5. Pequot Lakes 330 (+42). 6. New London-Spicer 331 (+43). 7. Cloquet 332 (+44). 8. Blake School 343 (+55).

Related Topics: CLOQUET LUMBERJACKS
Jake Przytarski is a reporter for the Cloquet Pine Journal covering a mix of news and sports.
What to read next
Recent Cloquet High School graduate Dana Jones is the first-ever Cloquet Pine Journal All-Area Softball Player of the Year.
The first-ever Cloquet Pine Journal All-Area Softball Team includes players from five different schools in Carlton County.