Eagles down but not out

JORDAN – The New Ulm boys golf team had a decent first day at the Class AA State Meet on Tuesday at Sand Creek.

The only problem for the Eagles was that the other seven teams competing had an even better first round.

New Ulm shot a team score of 321, which currently puts the Eagles in eighth place. Staples-Motley leads the Class AA Tournament with a 294, followed by Detroit Lakes (299), Litchfield (304), Marshall (311), Hermantown (312), Blake (315), Rochester Lourdes (318) and New Ulm.

“We played pretty well for the course,” New Ulm coach Dan Janke said.?”It’s a tight course and they kept the ball in play. We had some great shot and putting is where we struggled a little bit. We probably had 10 shots left on the green between the four scores that we were going to take and that’s an easy spot to take off.”

The Eagles were led by a trio of golfers who all shot 80 in their state tournament debut. Tanner Zupfer (40-40), Jonah Cooper (39-41) and Colin Huffman (43-37) all tied for 45th overall on the first day. Josh Cooper was the final New Ulm golfer to finish in the team scoring, carding an 81 (42-39).

“The course was in great condition,” Zupfer said. “I didn’t have nerves, but the first tee when they announce your first and last name and they get the crowd to cheer, it sends butterflies through your stomach.”

Zupfer finished the day strong for the Eagles, recording a birdie on the final hole.

“It was great, because it was from the sand so it was even better,” Zupfer said.

Matt Saffert and Ethan Kraus both shot an 82 on the first day for New Ulm. While Zupfer was happy about his round, Kraus saw some room for improvement.

“I started out pretty slow, I had three straight doubles and I wasn’t putting too well either,” Kraus said.

Delano’s Jordan Peters leads the way individually with a 69 (34-35). Marshall’s Matt Bennett and Staples-Motley’s Andrew Israelson both shot a 71 to tie for second overall.

New Ulm resumes action today as Kraus tees off at 8:15 a.m. He will be followed by Matt Saffert (8:24 a.m.), Josh Cooper (8:33 a.m.), Jonah Cooper (8:42 a.m.), Colin Huffman (8:51 a.m.), Tanner Zupfer?(9 a.m.)

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