FAIRMONT - South Central Conference boys golf favorite New Ulm showed its consistency against the wind - and the St. James Saints and the Fairmont Cardinals - as the Eagles fired a nine-hole team score of 160 to claim the conference triangular at Interlaken Golf Course.
The Cardinals, who finished fourth out of nine teams at the Jordan Invitational over the weekend, scored a second-place total of 178, while St. James fired a 212 for third.
New Ulm's Mat Saffert came in with one birdie for a meet-best 39 to earn medalist honors.
TOWARD THE CUP — Fairmont golfer Cole Huinker watches his putt roll toward the cup during a South Central Conference double dual meet at Interlaken Golf Course in Fairmont on Monday. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
Fairmont senior Josh Baldus carded five pars to score a team-leading round of 40.
Throughout the Cardinal lineup, bogeys proved to be detrimental, allowing the Eagles to edge the Cardinals by 18 strokes.
"I think the bogeys really killed us today. You can get into and out of trouble once - that's not a problem, but to try and get into and out of trouble twice is trouble," said Fairmont head coach Brad Haugen. "If you add up all the bogeys and the others, that puts us within two strokes of New Ulm."
The Eagles had no trouble finding balanced scoring for the win, as all four counting scores were below 45.
With Saffert leading the way, Tanner Zupfer and Jonah Cooper tallied matching scores of 40 and Kelton Schmitz rounded out the Eagles' counting scores with a 41.
While Baldus led the Cardinals behind a solid scoring round, the final hole proved problematic. Baldus' tee shot on the par-4, No. 9 found its way behind a tree to the side of the fareway. Despite a creative attempt to skip a shot off the bunker, the Cardinal senior carded a 6 for his second-place round of 40.
Sam Havnen continued to improve by contributing a 45 for second place on the team. Havnen scored the Cardinals' lone birdie on the par-3, No. 3 to bounce back from a seven on the par-5, No. 2.
"I think that today was an off-day for us. Normally when one of the guys has had a bad round so far, one of the others has made up for it with their score," said Haugen. "Today, that didn't happen."
Fairmont earned its other counting scores on the swings of Carter Welchlin and Joe Nordquist, who carded a 47 and a 46, respectively.
Cole Huinker and Derrick Hohensee rounded out the Cardinals efforts with rounds of 50 and 56, respectively.
St. James was led by Mason Collier, who scored a 51, while John Olsen added a 52.
Tyler Witcraft added a 54 and Mitch Rettke completed the counting scores with a 55.
Fairmont plays host to St. Peter and Waseca in a SCC triangular at 3:45 p.m. today at Rose Lake Golf Course in Fairmont.
New Ulm 160, Fairmont 178, St. James 212
Medalist: Mat Saffert (NU) 39.
Fairmont finishers: Josh Baldus 40, Sam Havnen 45, Joe Nordquist 46, Carter Welchlin 47, Cole Huinker 50, Derrick Hohensee 56.
Other New Ulm finishers: Tanner Zupfer 40, Jonah Cooper 40, Kelton Schmitz 41, Ethan Kraus 41, Josh Cooper 45.
St. James finishers: Mason Collier 51, John Olsen 52, Tyler Witcraft 54, Mitch Rettke 55, Ryan Witcraft 58, Walker Froehling 59.
New Ulm JV 187, Fairmont JV Red 202, Fairmont JV White 242, St. James Incomplete
Fairmont JV Red finishers: Hunter Jorgensen 48, Marcus Wiebe 49, Trevor Iverson 51, Josh Liljenquist 54, Josh Hartwig 60, Colton Cunning 62.
Fairmont JV White finishers: Scott Madsen 57, Dustin Meyer 59, Jeff Brickner 60, Evan Klujeske 66, Nick Bremer 67.
New Ulm JV finishers: Colin Hufman 42, Peder Johnson 44, Brad Donton 50, Josh Petersen 51, Hendrik Louters 54, Connor Johnson 64.
St. James JV finisher: Clay Winrich 71.