Braaten fires school record 68 to steal show on Day 1 of Class A state golf
Becker – For the Blooming Prairie boys golf team, senior Tommy Braaten has been the catalyst all season long.
During Day 1 action of the Class A state tournament, Braaten was simply on another level.
Shooting a 68 for the day, the Blossoms’ senior not only sits atop the leaderboard heading into the final day, but is the school’s new recorder holder for an 18-hole match after Day 1 action of the Class A state golf tournament at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker.
“Tommy was dialed in all day,” commented head coach Cory Hendrickson. “He always hits his irons well and today his putter was working as well.”
After recording par on his first three holes on the front nine, Braaten started to catch fire. Of the 18 holes played Tuesday, he managed to stay out of the rough every time. What really set the senior apart from his competition were his drives.
“I didn’t miss many shots and when I did it was just a slight 10-yard pull,” added Braaten. “When you’re hitting those as your bad shots, you can play with it.”
On four separate Par 4 holes on the front nine, Braaten managed to record birdie. In fact, he recorded an eagle on hole-7, Par 5. There were also numerous holes throughout the day in which he was less than 100 yards away from the pin after his initial drive. He noted that his putter was the best part of his game today.
“A lot of those putts I didn’t expect to go in and they just trickled in,” he added. “It’s not like I expect to make those, but I guess when you’re putting that well you’re confidence builds.”
Braaten would finish with a 36 on the back nine to solidiy his spot in the hunt for a state title.
While it was a record day for the Blossoms’ star, the same couldn’t be said for his teammates. Having to fight a slight gust from the east all morning, the rest of the Blooming Prairie boys squad had their fair share of struggles.
“We found too many bunkers and had too many three-putts,” added Hendrickson.
Both of Blooming Prairie’s middle school golfers saw first-hand the immense jump in talent that is present when at the state tournament. Seventh grader Colin Jordison shot a shot a 51 on the front nine, but managed to improve to shot a 44 on the back nine to finish tied for 74th. Eighth grader Kollyn Alwes was just the opposite. After shooting a 52 on the front nine, he struggled on the back nine, fighting the strong gusts of wind; he dropped to a 56 to finish with a 108, good enough for a tie for 85th.
After struggling on his way to firing a 48 on the front nine, Jake Ressler bounced back to shoot a 43 on the back nine to finish tied with four others for 62nd place. He finished with a 91. Hendrickson noted that the boys believe they will be able to rebound from a rough opening round saying, “The good news is that our boys feel like they can and will play better tomorrow.”
The blossoms currently sit in sixth place after carding a 347, sitting 31 shots off the leader, Mahnomen/Wabun.