BECKER, Minn. — Moorhead Park Christian's girls golf team was in third and 18 strokes out of first place after Day 1 of the Minnesota Class 1A state golf meet. With nine holes to go on the second and final day of the meet, the Falcons trailed BOLD by 13 strokes for first place.
In the end, it came down to one shot, as BOLD held off Park Christian to win the Class 1A state title by one stroke Wednesday at Pebble Creek Golf Club.
The Falcons felt a little bit of excitement for what they did, but at the same time disappointment.
"It was quite the whirlwind," Park Christian senior Emily Doeden said. "I think there was definitely a feeling of both. We went into today with no pressure. Just have fun and the results will come. We were excited at our performance, but to know we finished one stroke short, we were all very disappointed."
After a 363 on Day 1, Park Christian came storming back with a 342 for a total of 705. It just wasn't enough, as BOLD finished with a 704. The Falcons have now finished sixth, fourth, third and second, respectively, in the last four seasons.
"Coming in, they knew they had a chance, but yesterday they dug themselves a hole," Park Christian coach Dan Doeden said. "Their goal was to play a solid round and see what happened. You can look over 705 or so shots from the two days and replay them in your head, but I'm sure BOLD could do that too. I'm just proud of them for hanging in there, playing hard and giving it their all."
The close finishes didn't stop there. Emily Doeden was tied for sixth and six strokes off the lead after Day 1 of the meet. She responded with the best round of the meet by anyone on either day, finishing with a 77 on Day 2 and a 162 overall. It was two strokes short of first and one stroke short of second, as Lac qui Parle Valley's Rachel Halvorson won her second straight state title with a 160 and Fillmore Central's Madison Scheevel finished second with a 161.
Emily Doeden wasn't the only golfer who improved from Day 1 to Day 2 for the Falcons. Amy Jacobson improved on her Day 1 score by three strokes for an 86 and a ninth-place finish, Emily Stueland improved by a stroke for a 91, Grace Heinen improved by nine strokes for an 88.
Wednesday capped a career for Emily Doeden that included five trips to the state meet and finishes of ninth, tied for second, tied for third and third, respectively.
"Today was a grind," Emily Doeden said. "I was trying to make up for yesterday. I was happy with today, but yesterday just did it for me. To be alongside my teammates for the last time was really special."
On the boys side, Park Christian senior Alex Iverson ended his high school golf career with a third-place finish at the Class 1A golf meet.
"It was almost bittersweet," Iverson said. "It hasn't really sunk in yet that it was my last. It was a frustrating day today, but it still feels like I should be happy with getting third place."
Iverson shot an 8-over 80 at Pebble Creek Golf Club on Tuesday to finish the two-day meet with a 10-over 154. Community Christian sophomore Brett Reid won the state title with a 145 and Lac qui Parle Valley senior Harrison Patzer finished in second with a 149.
"I'm super proud of him," Park Christian golf coach Luther Stueland said. "He grinded out a tough round. Putter wasn't working so well. Just had a couple of misses, but he played within his game plan. It would've turned out a little better if the putter was working."
Iverson shot a 74 on Day 1, which put him in second place, two strokes behind Reid. Reid shot a 73 on Day 2 to hold the lead and Patzer improved on his Day 1 score by five strokes, shooting a 72 on Day 2, to jump Iverson in the standings.
"I think I just didn't capitalize on my chances and a couple of putts I made yesterday didn't go in today," Iverson said. "Just a couple mistakes that cost me two or three strokes."
Next up for Iverson is Bemidji State, where he'll continue his golfing career.
"I'm feeling almost relieved," Iverson said. "This was two stressful days. Today was a long day, but I still got a lot more golf left to play in my life. This won't be the last I'll play golf for sure."
Fertile-Beltrami's boys team finished tied for third in Class 1A with a 676 over the two days. Community Christian won the state title with a 655, while Springfield finished in second with a 658.
Rylin Petry led Fertile-Beltrami with a two-day score of 162 to finish 13th overall in the individual standings. Teammate Grant Wilson was right behind him with a 163 to tie for 14th.