Golf: Royals slip to 4th place in state tournament, Muenzhuber 15th

Rogers senior Zach Hnath chipped on the fairway Wednesday at Bunker Hills while shooting 81-80-161 for the tournament. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

 

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

The Rogers golf team, after placing first and second the last two state tournaments, slipped out of contention in their third trip to the big show this week.

The Royals salvaged fourth place in Class 3A at Bunker Hills, while Corey Muenzhuber, a legitimate state medal contender all season, wound up 15th individually.

“Last year, every kid played as well as they possibly could,” said coach Dan Bursheim, referring to the title the Royals shared with Wayzata. “This year, we got into  trouble here and there, and became frustrated. Still, the kids were grinding all tournament, trying to come back.”

The Moorhead Spuds nabbed their first state championship with a two-day total of 599, followed by Minnetonka with 613, Chanhassen 616 and Rogers 626 in an eight-team field.

Moorhead’s Ben Welle tied for the individual crown at 162 with Chaska’s Jon Dutoit.

Corey Muenzhuber, after an opening 71, faltered Tuesday with an 82 and placed 15th, leading the Royals. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Rogers was seven strokes back with 309 after Tuesday’s 18 holes and slipped to 317 on Wednesday with Jordan Rykal shooting 74, Zach Hnath 82, Kyle Korva 81 and Muenzhuber 82 for the counting scores.

“We felt coming in that if we  played like we should, we had a fairly good chance,” Rykal said. “I  could have played a lot better yesterday. Today was pretty rough. A lot of us could have played better.”

Muenzhuber, ranked No. 3, shot 71-82-153 for 15th place.  Rykal, ranked No. 9, shot 81-74-155 for 27th place. Last year, they tied for 10th place with 149′s.

Kyle Korva, a junior, shot 76-81–157 for 35th place.

Muenzhuber was the state’s hottest prep golfer the first half of the season when he won five consecutive tournaments, including two of the strongest, the Tri-State and Brainerd invitationals.

“I came back to earth,” commented Muenzhuber, who didn’t win any more tournaments but continued to finish high in every outing.

Ranked first first for much of the season, he entered “state” ranked third, and held third place after Tuesday’s first round with 71, two strokes off the lead.

His final 15th-place finish follows his marks of 46th, 28th and 10th in three previous state trips.

“Yesterday I was keeping my drives in the fairway, but today, it got a little wild,” said Muenzhuber, stoically. “I got in some hazards. It wasn’t good. Bad putting, bad drives. My irons were all right. Nothing really worked.”

A triple bogie on No. 5 East, after driving into the water, was especially hurtful in breaking his rhythm.

“I’ve got four more years,” said Muenzhuber, who’ll play at UM-Mankato.

Jordan Rykal finished strong with a 74 that brought him up to 27th place, after tying for 10th last year. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

 

Rykal assessed: “I did not hit many fairways Tuesday. I was hitting my drives poorly. Today I hit my drives really well. I had a couple of bad chips, with otherwise it was good.”

He eagled No. 6 on the East with a seven-iron shot within three feet.

Bursheim said the Royals’ bright spots included  No. 5 Korva’s first-round 76, senior No. 4 Hnath’s steady 81 and 80, along with Muenzhuber’s stellar 71 the first day and Rykal’s 74 the second day.

“We didn’t put it together for both days,” the coach said.

It’s been a great three-year run,  with a second place, a tie for first, and now a fourth.

Bursheim saluted his four seniors.

He cited Andy Suedbeck for “a phenomenal swing” that just needs a little work and he’ll have “a great life in golf,” while Hnath, a hockey-first athlete, “put everything he had into golf this spring” and made a huge improvement. About Rykal, the coach said, “You couldn’t ask for a better role model for the program.”

Kyle Korva chipped Tuesday during his opening-round 76 for the Royals. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

He praised Muenzhuber as a money player since his first tournament in eighth grade.

“It was tough to see Corey end the way he did today,” said Bursheim, “because he has been so consistent, so solid, so good under pressure for five years.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STATE CLASS 3A BOYS GOLF TOURNAMENT

Team scoring

1. Moorhead ……………….. 302-297–599

2. Minnetonka …………….. 304-309–613

3. Chanhassen …………… 309-307–616

4. Rogers ……………………. 309-317–626

5. Eagan …………………….. 319-308–627

6. Forest Lake …………….. 315-319–634

7. Rochester Century …. 323-319–642

8. Roseville Area ………… 324-329–653

 

Individual top five

1. Ben Welle, Moorhead ………………….. 70-72–142

Jon Dutoit, Chaska ………………………. 69-73–142

3. Freddy Thomas, Lakeville North ….. 74-69–143

4. Matt Rachey, Waconia …………………. 72-72–144

Max Rosenthal, Eden Prairie ………. 77-67–144

 

Rogers scores

15. Corey Muenzhuber ……………………. 72-82–153

27. Jordan Rykal ……………………………… 81-74–155

35. Kyle Korva ………………………………….. 76-81–157

57. Zach Hnath …………………………………. 81-80–161

74. Morgan Rask ………………………………. 83-82–165

86. Andy Suedbeck ………………………….. 91-90–181

 

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