A five-hour weather delay Wednesday didn’t dampen the spirits of Delano senior Jordan Peters.
The first-round leader survived a nerve-racking final nine holes to win the Class 2A boys’ golf state tournament at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan. The final round of the two-day event was reduced to nine holes following a tenacious rainstorm in the morning, pushing the first tee times into the afternoon.
“I had to stay focused,” said Peters, who finished the 27-hole event with a 4-under par 104. “I never been in that position before. It’s a whole different mind-set.”
Peters has won his share of one-day events throughout his prep career. Never a two-day tournament.
“That was stressful,” Peters said. He finished two strokes ahead of Waseca junior Josh Kummerfeldt.
It wasn’t noticeable in his play. He recorded a 1-under-par 35 over a soggy final nine holes, forcing those nearest him to shoot a 33 just to pull even.
“I played better today considering the circumstances,” Peters said. “I had to really work for everything.”
Peters followed a “solid” 3-under-par 69 round Tuesday with what he dubbed a “stellar” performance a day later.
“Everything came easy yesterday,” Peters said. “It could have been a better round, but I was satisfied. I could have shot a 66.” He had six birdies during the round.
The past two years, five of Peters’ seven rounds on the varied terrain course have been under par. He finished fourth a year ago.
“I didn’t know that I would be able to play to my potential out here,” said Peters, who is headed to Southern Illinois University. “It gives me a jump in confidence heading to college. Now I feel like I can play Division I golf.”
Teammates share title
Kate Smith of Detroit Lakes is only a freshman. She is already a two-time state champion, sharing this year’s title with teammate junior Natalie Roth.
“Honestly, it was probably the perfect way to end,” Smith said. Both finished with even-par 108s. “It’s been a long two days.”
Smith, the defending state champion, shot an even-par 36 on all three nine-hole rounds. In her seven nine-hole rounds over the course the past two years, Smith has only been over par one time. That was a 37.
She trailed her teammate by two strokes entering play Wednesday after Roth carded a personal best 2-under-par 70 in the first round. Roth shot a 2-over-par 38 over the final nine holes.
“Natalie is a great teammate and player,” Smith said. “She had a great season.”
Smith even walked off the 18th green after recording a par thinking she was finishing as the runner-up to her teammate. She was in the second to last group, ahead of Roth.
“I thought I needed a birdie on the last hole,” Smith said. “I was done, no chance.”
However, Roth bogeyed the final hole, leaving the teammates in a deadlock for medalist honors. They finished three strokes in front of Pequot Lakes senior Savannah Stone.
“It’s been very stressful for everybody,” Smith said. “It was hard to be mentally prepared for everything that happened today.”
Detroit Lake’s girls’ team successfully defended its state championship, outdistancing Minnewaska by 31 strokes. The Lakers topped Minnewaska by 35 shots in 2012.
“I’m just so proud of our team,” Smith said. “We have so many good girls, and we all root for each other.”
Staples-Motley’s boys’ team prevented Detroit Lakes from sweeping the team titles, finishing seven shots ahead of the Lakers. Detroit Lakes won both crowns in 2012.
“Having my brother [Karter] on the team, it’s too bad they didn’t win it, too,” a teary-eyed Smith said. “It’s been a very emotional day.”