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Cavanagh wins State Golf title

By John George sports@eot.com Walking off the 18th green at Izaty's G.C. Thursday afternoon was a bitter-sweet moment for Perham senior Taylor Cavanagh. The first-day co-leader had seen a magical afternoon wash away. Or so he thought. Despite sho...

By John George

sports@eot.com

Walking off the 18th green at Izaty's G.C. Thursday afternoon was a bitter-sweet moment for Perham senior Taylor Cavanagh. The first-day co-leader had seen a magical afternoon wash away. Or so he thought.

Despite shooting a 41 on the back nine of the final round, Cavanagh's 144 (69-75) was still good enough to earn him a tie as the Class A State Champion.

"When I walked off the 18th green, I thought, 'That was my last hole as a high school player and I boogied it'," Cavanagh said. "Earlier in the round, I felt like I was having the round of my life. After I eagled nine, I thought it was destiny and started to cruise a little."

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That eagle on nine put Cavanagh at 34 for the front side. He started the back nine with a bogey, followed by a birdie and two par's. Then, the pressure set in.

"I really started thinking about it (winning the championship) after that birdie on 11," Cavanagh said. "Then I almost choked it away."

Cavanagh double-boogied the par-three 16th and went into the water and double-boogied 18.

"I couldn't believe I finished my round that way," Cavanagh said. "I was happy to come out of it with a blue ribbon."

Cavanagh tied with Peter Croonquist at 144. Croonquist, who led Mounds Park Academy to the boys team title, finished the back-nine with a 35, including a birdie on the final hole to tie Cavanagh for medalist honors. He began the day two-strokes behind Cavanagh and shot a 38 on the front-nine. Finishing in a tie for third were Brock Olson of Cook-Orr and Brian Larson of Rochester Lourdes at 148.

"Blue is a lot better than red," Cavanagh said, referring to the color difference between first and second place ribbons. "When I look back, I won't think about the fact that I tied with someone else, I'll remember being a State Champion."

He knows what a red ribbon looks like. He finished 2nd as a freshman, shooting a 147 in 2003. He finished 13th (154) last year as his Yellowjacket team finished third.

His uncle Bob and cousin Mike Cavanagh also both finished second at State in their high school days.

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Taylor wasn't feeling the pressure heading into the second day. As the first-round co-leader with Jon Trasamer of Blue Earth Area, Cavanagh left Izaty's Wednesday and tried not to think about golf until the next morning.

"I just tried to put it out of my mind and tried to relax," he said. "I did whatever I could to keep my mind off of it."

Including spending a few hours at Grand Casino Mille Lacs.

Whatever he did, it worked. Although he thought this day would come sooner.

"After my freshman year, I thought I'd win one before my senior year," Cavanagh said. "Now I'm just finally glad it came. Better late than never."

Taylor will be joining older brother, Lee, golfing at NDSU next year. Lee finished tied for fourth at last year's Minnesota State Meet. Taylor plans on majoring in business administration with no specific long-term plans, although playing golf for a living has a nice ring to it.

"I don't know if that will happen (turning pro). We'll just have to wait and see how things go at NDSU."

Fairytail ending

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To cap off Cavanagh's week, he returned to his home course, Perham Lakeside G.C., and nailed his first ever hole-in-one at the par-three Oak No. 2, Sunday afternoon.

Mattfeld tied for 72nd

Perham's other golfer at State, girls senior Nikki Mattfeld, finished in a tie for 72nd at Izaty's with a two-day total of 198 (49-53--102 / 50-46--96). She tied with Crookston's Carmen Pester. Katie Detlefson of Minnehaha Academy won her third straight Class A girls title with a 140 (34-35--69 / 32-39--71), eight strokes ahead of runner-up, Olivia Lansing of Mounds Park Academy. There were a total of 88 individual girls participating at the tournament.

Correction

In a correction from last week's EB, Nikki Mattfeld's older sister, Kayla, qualified for State as a junior, not a senior as had been reported.

Team titles

Section 6A champ, Minnewaska, won the girls Class A team title with a 664 (335-329), four-strokes ahead of second place, Lake City. For the boys, Section 8A champ, Roseau, was the runner-up behind Mounds Park Academy. Section 6A champs, Minewaska, finished fifth.

In Class AA, the Detroit Lakes girls won the team title with a 673. The Lakers' Christine Herzog finished second behind medalist Samantha Sommers of St. Cloud Apollo. Alexandria won the boys Class AA team title. There was also a tie for the boys 2-A crown as Sean Barrett of Mahtomedi and Donald Constable of Minnetonka shared the title with a 142.

State Class A Golf Tournament

Izaty's Golf Club, Onamia

Boys Team Scores: Mounds Park Academy 617, Roseau 640, Virginia 641, St. Cloud Cathedral 645, Minnewaska Area 648, Rochester Lourdes 657, Jackson County Central 669, Fairmont 727.

Boys Top 5 Individuals

T-1. Taylor Cavanagh (Perham) and Peter Croonquist (Mounds Park Academy)144. T-3. Brian Larson (Rochester Lourdes) and Brock Olson (Cook-Orr) 148. T-5. Travis Ross (Crookston) and Jon Trasamer (Blue Earth Area) 149.

Girls Team Scores: Minnewaska Area 664, Lake City 668, Albany 689, Visitation 691, Marshall School-Duluth 706, Luverne 734, United South Central 758, Roseau 771.

Girls Top 5 Individuals

T-1. Katie Detlefsen (Minnehaha Academy) 140, 2. Olivia Lansin (Mounds Park Academy) 149, 3. Kristi Lucken (Fosston) 152, T-4. Ashley West and Devon Harteneck (Lake City) and Molly Noser (Rochester Lourdes)158. T-72. Nikki Mattfeld (Perham) 198.

Full scores can be viewed at www.mshsl.org

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