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Perham boys golf set to host a full field

The Perham boys golf team will be welcoming a full field to the annual Perham Boys Golf Invitational at the Perham Lakeside Golf Course on Saturday, April 22.

The meet is one of the largest ones in the area and it’s an early test for the Yellowjackets when they tee off against a strong field which features a mix of large and small schools.

“We have a full field coming with most of the Fargo schools coming, Wahpeton, Alexandria, Moorhead, Detroit Lakes, Walker, Pelican Rapids, Barnesville and a whole bunch of schools,” Perham boys golf coach Mike Kunza said. “There is some great competition out there and it will be fun to see how we shake out at the end.”

West Fargo Sheyenne captured the title in 2016, finishing with a 313. Mahnomen finished second last year, finishing with a team score of 328. Staples-Motley’s Andrew Israelson captured the individual title, carding a 71.

It’s a unique early test for the Yellowjackets to see where they are at early in the season. The Yellowjackets opened with a convincing win at the Heart O’Lakes Conference event in Pelican Rapids and hope to build upon that at their home course.

“It’s a good measuring stick for our boys,” Kunza said. “We don’t want to put expectations on ourselves to play lights out. We just want to play to the best of our ability right now. We will see what happens at the end. It will be fun.”

Kunza said the team is excited to play with some different people and have the opportunity to see how some of the larger schools carry themselves on the golf course.

Kunza said hitting the fairways will be a key when playing at Lakeside. He said it is one of the longest golf courses they play during the season. Avoiding double bogeys and triple bogeys will be the key, adding that those are killer to a team’s score.

One of the top teams from North Dakota last year returns in Wahpeton. Kunza said they had a strong year last year. The defending Perham Invitational Champions, West Fargo Sheyenne, is back to defend their title. Detroit Lakes advanced to the Class AA Tournament from Section 8AA and they will be competing at Lakeside on Saturday.

Kunza said the home invitational will help the Yellowjackets down the road when section tournament time rolls around at Park Rapids and Bemidji.

“What a strong invite field does for you, is that it puts a little pressure on you to post your best score possible,” Kunza said. “Which is great for advancing in tournament play.”

The tournament kicks off at 9:30 a.m. at the Perham Lakeside Golf Course on April 21.

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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