Max Deutz of Marshall wanted to shoot well enough to put his school in position to win its first state championship. The junior did just that, and did the same for himself.
Deutz fired a 2-under-par 70 to claim the first-round lead and put Marshall atop the boys' team standings in the Class 2A golf state tournament Wednesday at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan. The final round of the two-day event will be held Thursday.
"Every stroke counts," Deutz said to some of his teammates who finished their round prior to him as he walked off the 18th green. Marshall compiled a team score of 299, three strokes ahead of second-place Detroit Lakes.
"I was just trying to shoot the lowest score possible to help our team," said Deutz, who registered six birdies and four bogeys while posting his lowest tournament round. "I was able to avoid any big numbers today."
Following a 30-minute delay due to rain at the start, Deutz opened his round with back-to-back birdies. He got as low as 3-under-par after recording a four on the par-5, 10th hole.
"I got off to a fast start," said Deutz, who is participating in his first state tournament. "I had a rough finish, but I'm pretty happy with my round."
Perham junior Dan Cavanagh is one stroke back with a 71. Four other players finished at even-par 72.
The girls' field finished right at dusk following a two-hour weather delay. Jackson County Central junior Kaylee Benson, the leader after nine holes, finished with a 3-over-par 75 to remain in first place.
"I played very well before the rain delay," said Benson, who carded a 37 on the front nine before finishing with a 38. "I struggled a little bit right after the delay."
Detroit Lakes leads the race for the team crown with a 329. Five-time champion Minnewaska is third at 345. The Lakers started their run with two Class 1A titles.Class 1A
The final round that never transpired a year ago due to inclement weather could finally be resolved in 2011.
Five boys who finished among the top nine last year enter today's final round at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker in the top nine once again.
Senior Aaron Forgaard of Bethlehem Academy and freshman Sam Eisenhuth of BEST (co-op of Babbitt-Embarrass and Tower-Soudan) share the first-round lead with 1-over-par 73s. Forgaard tied for fourth while Eisenhuth tied for sixth in 2010.
Frazee junior Beau Hanson, the medalist a year ago, is three strokes back at 76. He rebounded with a 2-under-par 34 after shooting a 42 on the front nine.
The other two golfers facing nearly the same predicament are Springfield senior Dillon Schultz and Legacy Christian junior Andrew Peterson. Schultz and Peterson finished with a 75 and 76, respectively.
Defending state champion senior Kelsey Ross of Osakis leads the girls' field by two strokes after shooting a 76.
Lewiston-Altura (girls) and Springfield (boys) head the team standings.