Rachel Halvorson had just won her second straight individual state golf title Wednesday at Pebble Creek in Becker. I was interviewing her and noticed tears in her eyes. I couldn’t tell if they were tears of joy or tears of relief. She did have a big smile on her face, but the pressure on her walking up the 18th green with hundreds of people watching was intense. I was so nervous for her. The shot she made to get on the 18th green was incredible.
Rachel was tied with Madison Sheevel a senior from Fillmore Central on the final hole. Rachel was about one hundred yards out from the green. Mark, her dad and coach was standing beside her as she swung her iron and put the ball a few inches from the hole. Amazing shot! Father and daughter embraced in a big hug! She tapped in for a birdie and won the state title by one stroke! Rachel has come a long way since her first state appearance as a 7th grader. She has been to state every year. I have had the privilege of following her at state and getting a picture with Rachel every year that I cherish. She is an amazing young person and golfer. The LQPV girls placed third as a team at state.
The state golf meet is one of my favorite sporting events to cover. Pebble Creek does a great job of hosting the Class A state golf tournament. The facilities are first class and the members from Pebble Creek do a great job of making you feel welcome. Every year I run into Stacy Smith Vetsch, who is Charlie and Gwen Smiths daughter. Stacy works the tournament taking the golfers cards and recording their scores. We always have to take a selfie each year, but this year we both had our eyes closed so I couldn’t post it. Canby Lancer Jake Wagner’s uncle, Adrian Smith also works the tournament. Adrian owns the Madison Fitness Center and we always have a good time visiting at state golf. Jake always gives a good interview on the radio. Did you know he has a pilot’s license? Last week he would fly his plane to Becker to get a practice round in. I enjoy visiting with Jake, he is a good golfer.
Another memorable highlight at state golf for me was watching Ella Mork and Rachael Lund from Dawson/Boyd. They were golfing in their first state tournament. Every time I interviewed them or talked with them, they had big smiles no matter how they were golfing. They were happy to have the experience of golfing at state. I had been posting on social media after day one and Rachael reminded me that I had been spelling her name wrong on Tuesday. It’s Rachael, not Rachel, she said with a smile. I corrected myself. Ella Mork had one of the best shots I got to witness at state golf. On day one, Ella was about 125 yards out from the hole on eighteen, she hit the ball and it rolled up on the green and hit the pole and almost went in. A fantastic shot, when Ella walked by me I clapped loudly and yelled, she looked at me waved and smiled. I really enjoyed interviewing both of them.
What can I say about the tournament senior Harrison Patzer of LQPV had. Harrison was amazing and finished in 2nd place. On day two Harrison shot the low round of the day parring the course and shooting a 72! Pebble Creek is a difficult course to golf and to par the course is quite an accomplishment. What a way for Harrison to finish an amazing golf career. Harrison also gives a great interview on the radio. The LQPV boys team finished in 3rd place.
Other area golfers I followed were Minneota Vikings Nolan Boerboom and Cole Myhre. It was Cole’s first time being at state. I believe it was Nolan’s second time. Thing I noticed about Nolan and Cole is how they conduct themselves, very professional and they both are great kids. Nolan hadn’t shot the best round and still was nice enough to go on the radio with me. Mikayla Rasset from Ortonville is another golfer I have gotten to know over the last few years. Mikayla has a great personality and probably has the most family and friends following her on the golf course. Mikayla’s grandfather, Norm and I were in a Bible study years ago and it was nice to see Norm again at state following his granddaughter.
On the second day of the tournament Julie Asfeld the LQPV Marketing and Social Media director joined me on the golf cart. This was Julies first time ever being on a golf course! I did about crash the golf cart a few times and gave her a good scare. It was pretty cool out and Julie was wishing she had brought a coat. Julie does great work for the LQPV social media sites. Adam Conroy and Brandon Hill were both working the state golf meet for the Western Guard newspaper. LQPV was well covered by the local media
I had two favorite moments at state golf. First one was being able to visit with John Millea from the Minnesota High School League. John writes Johns Journal and does a podcast and is on WCCO radio often. He has become a good friend over the years. Our conversations are always light and funny. John has a great sense of humor. We both talked more about our health problems than high school sports. John is a really nice guy and does great work state wide for the MSHSL.
My favorite moment was handing out the Neon Needles Player of the Game t-shirts to the LQPV boys and girls golf teams for placing 3rd at state. To see the kids faces when I pulled out the POG t-shirts was worth the trip. Taking pictures of the kids with their POG shirts is always fun. They are so thankful. So when you are in Neon Needles in Dawson give them a big thanks. These POG shirts have become a pretty big deal to the kids and parents. They sure looked good in their Player of the Game t-shirts. The state golf tournament never disappoints and I can’t wait to visit Pebble Creek again next year.