Spuds boys golf team looks for late season success after positive month of May
May has brought the Spuds several team wins, a Mr. Golf watchlist appearance by Joe Kortan and Matt Gramer's first individual tournament win among other positive results.
MOORHEAD — The month of May has been particularly good to the Moorhead Spuds boys golf team, with success coming for the squad as a whole and individually.
In addition to winning back-to-back 18-team tourneys early in the month, Joe Kortan was named to the Minnesota Mr. Golf watchlist while Matt Gramer earned his first individual tournament victory.
“It’s just an honor,” said Kortan of making the watchlist. “I’ve put so much work into this sport and to see it kind of come full circle and be named one of the top kids in the state is really cool.”
With section play approaching, Kortan said he believes the Spuds have the talent to compete with anyone.
“I like our team a lot, I think we have just as good of a chance as anyone in our section,” he said. “We just need to get off to better starts and finish our rounds stronger.”
The winners of Minnesota Mr. and Ms. Golf will be announced next month, with the awards being presented June 11.
Spuds’ first year head coach Brady Robertson knew from the first time he saw Kortan play as an eighth-grader that he had the potential to become a great player.
“I’ll never forget watching him thinking this dude is going to be a player,” Robertson said. “He has a great attitude and he’s just a humble guy. I throw it out on our Twitter often. I spelled his name wrong for his whole career and he just let it roll. He’s just that good of a guy.”
Robertson also noted Kortan’s leadership abilities as another of his strengths.
“I know he’s been a little disappointed in his season but he’s doing what he needs to do as a team captain to keep the team in the right spot,” he said.
Gramer earned his first individual win after a scorecard playoff at the Bemidji Invitational.
“It feels pretty good,” said Gramer I didn’t really know at first if I had won or not at first. When I found out afterwards it was a great feeling.”
Like Kortan, Gramer said he feels confident about the team’s ability to perform well down the stretch.
“We’ve been a little on and off but for the most part it has been great,” he said. “We can really be good going into sections and states after that. I’m really excited for it.”
Since the back-to-back wins, the Spuds have had a fifth place finish at the two-day Albert Lea Invitational, in addition to a top three performance at Monticello.
While it’s his first year as head coach, Robertson has been with the Spuds for the past five years as an assistant.
As the season winds down, Robertson said he hopes the Spuds can perform well at sections to extend the time he has with this group, especially the seniors who he has been alongside since they started their prep careers.
“I’ve been with these guys for a while. This is my sixth year, total,” Robertson said. “I watched this senior group start as freshmen and Joe as an eighth-grader. It’s kind of bittersweet that we’re getting to the point that we may only have a couple weeks left with the seniors but we’re hoping we can have about another month with them.”
Though the Spuds have had their ups and downs this season, Robertson noted that the team is trying to be their best at the right time.
“We’ve just been trying to continue to peak toward May 30 and just keep the incline going,” he said. “We’ve had some success but we haven’t been in any meets where all of the section teams are playing yet so we’ve been kind of back and forth with testing ourselves between meets with key players from the section and meets against big cities teams.”