Golf: Kline, Royals open with conference win at Becker

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

After six straight conference championships, the Rogers boys golf team are not the favorite in the 2014 season, in their coach’s opinion.

Still, the Royals won their 38th straight Mississippi 8 meet Tuesday, scoring 319 at Becker, with Dylan Kline low shooter for the day with 76.

Following were Buffalo 327, St. Michael-Albertville 334, Monticello 354, and Big Lake 357.

“The boys were underdogs to a strong Buffalo team returning its entire roster,” said coach Dan Bursheim, noting that his squad graduated three of their top four from a state-qualifying team.

“It should be a great battle for the west side (championship) with Buffalo and STMA, and also the overall conference title including east side power, Cambridge.”

The conference has expanded this year and split into halves for competition.

Kline, a senior, shot 43-33 for his first career win. Another Royal senior, Luke Bunkers, shot 78 and tied Buffalo’s Hunter Bruhn for second at 78.

Sophomore Cruz Martinez enjoyed an eagle-birdie finish and scored 79. Senior Taylor Fischer shot 86, sophomore Sam Suedbeck 93, and junior Jack Johansen 96.

“The guys have been working on their mental approach and pre-shot routine,” said Bursheim, “and are starting to put in the time on the short game around the greens.”

Rogers four freshmen showing promise of breaking into the lineup as well, said Bursheim.

The Royals are scheduled to play in the Becker Invitational on Wednesday.