Pirates finish fifth at Pre-Subsection meet at home
Tuesday's Section 8AA North Pre-Subsection meet at Minakwa Golf Course served as a tune-up for the real thing next week.
That's a good thing for the Crookston boys' golf team. Had they finished fifth at the actual Subsection meet like they did Tuesday, their season would have come to an end.
Instead, coach Steve Kofoed thought his team put itself in a good position and gave itself a performance to build off of as it looks ahead to the start of the postseason.
Crookston shot a 74-over-par 354, on the lower end of its scores this season, on its home course. Most importantly, the Pirates were just 10 strokes behind third-place Thief River Falls and one stroke behind East Grand Forks.
"That's not a crazy amount over four scores," Kofoed said. "It's just going to be a matter of each guy that we counted cleaning up one hole. One seven, turn it into a five. That's not a huge deal, big-picture."
Senior Jaxon Wang led the Pirates with a season-low 84, tying for seventh. While Kofoed said Wang's season has been up-and-down so far, he was encouraged by his consistency on Tuesday, as Wang stayed within one stroke of par on all but one hole despite not hitting the ball well super well in Kofoed's opinion.
"I loved the fact that Jaxon Wang was leading the pack all the way through and found a way to score," Kofoed said. "... He's had a stretch of holes that he's played well but as soon as some adversity showed up he would kind of fall to it and let the bad break ruin the rest of his round. Today he did a good job of just staying even-keeled and realizing bogey was a pretty good score."
Crookston was paced by its other two seniors in the lineup, Kaleb Thingelstad and Gavin Anderson. Thingelstad, who's led the Pirates in scoring most of the season, shot an 86 to finish tied for 15th. Anderson broke 100 for the first time on varsity, shooting a 91 to tie for 24th.
"He's been progressively getting better as the year went by," Kofoed said of Anderson. "He's been breaking 100 consistently here for the last few weeks (on junior varsity), and hopefully the next step next week is going to be to get himself under 90, which I think he absolutely can do."
Blaine Andringa tied for 28th, firing a 93. Ashton Shockman tied for 35th with a score of 99. Garrett Fischer placed 39th, shooting a 106.
The conditions at Minakwa on Tuesday were challenging: warm, but with huge wind gusts that sometimes hit 50 miles per hour.
While the wind elevated scores all across the board, Kofoed thought a number of his golfers got off to tough starts in their rounds, pushing close to 10 over par over the first few holes before settling down in the middle stretch.
"We can clean that up a little bit and stay patient and believe the fact that we can go out and post some decent numbers as a group of six," Kofoed said.
Roseau won the meet by 26 strokes, finishing with the top four finishers. Markus Nelson and Max Wilson both shot 76, while Judd Ginther and Teagan LaPlante finished at 77.
Hawley finished in second, 10 strokes ahead of Thief River Falls.
UP NEXT: The Pirates will host the Section 8AA North Subsection meet Tuesday, June 1 at Minakwa Golf Course. The meet will feature the same seven teams as today.
For Crookston to advance to the Section 8AA meet at Bemidji Town and Country Club from June 7-8, it will need to finish in the top three at Subsections.
The Pirates will roll out the same lineup next Tuesday that they did for Pre-Subsection. They used the last week-plus as a 72-hole qualifier for the varsity team, with Anderson, Andringa, Fischer, Shockman, Thingelstad and Wang all earning spots.
"We should be right there in trying to advance," Kofoed said.
- Jaxon Wang 44-40—84 (+14)
- Kaleb Thingelstad 44-42—86 (+16)
- Gavin Anderson 44-47—91 (+21)
- Blaine Andringa 49-44—93 (+23)
- Ashton Shockman 49-50—99 (+29)
- Garrett Fischer 54-52—106 (+36)
- 1. Roseau 308 (+28)
- 2. Hawley 334 (+54)
- 3. Thief River Falls 344 (+64)
- 4. East Grand Forks 353 (+73)
- 5. Crookston 354 (+74)
- 6. Park Rapids 365 (+85)
- 7. Warroad 371 (+91)
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