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Minnesota sports, as seen elsewhere

Golfer corrects score, disqualifies herself from state tournament

Let's enter this weekend on a positive note, shall we?

For us casual golfers it's not a big deal if we ground our club in the sand, improve a lie with the 'ol Nike wedge, execute a double-hit or write down a 5 when we really took a 6 (or 8 - hey, it happens).

But in competitive golf that's not the case. Rules and etiquette matter. It's up to you - and often only you - to be the referee. And a fair one at that to keep it an honest sport.

Golf has been called the gentlemen's game. In this case, one Minnesota high school girls' golfer is drawing some positive attention for giving up a golden opportunity in the name of sportsmanship.

Here's the entire post from the Minnesota State High School League Facebook page:

SPORTSMANSHIP ALERT

The following email was sent to the MSHSL on Thursday...

I am the head golf coach of the Renville County West Jaguars, and I would like to share a great story about what happened at the Section 2A finals at Benson Golf Club.

They say that sport is often used to build character. Well, I would like to share a story about how golf has this amazing way of revealing character, more so than building it.

On Wednesday, May 27, I was able to be a part of the most honorable act that I have ever witnessed. I have been a PGA member for seven years and have been looking for the honesty and integrity that golf once had. Well, yesterday my HOPE was restored.

Ortonville's No. 1 girls golfer, Hope Hasslen, restored my heart for the next generation of golfers. When Hope finished her round she went into the scoring room and signed for what everybody agreed on ... a 90. A few moments later she informed her coach, Roger Sandberg (also part of the rules committee), that she got a 9 on the last hole, not an 8 for which she had signed. The ramifications of this act was that Hope in essence disqualified herself from the state tournament.

I immediately thought, "How many other kids in this field would have done that?" Hope, knowing or not knowing, disqualified herself from the state tournament. She didn't have to say a word, she could have kept quiet, accepted her medal and started preparing for her trip to the state tournament at Pebble Creek Golf Club in 10 days. But no, her integrity and doing what was right meant more to her than participating in the state tournament.

You see, a 90 (exactly what she originally carded) would have made her state-tournament bound. A 91 (what she really scored) would have put her in a playoff for a state tournament berth. She got neither. Instead, what she does get is the respect and admiration of those of us who were lucky enough to witness such an honorable act.

If there were a purple heart medal for golf, Hope would be the greatest recipient of such an honor. She was wounded on the battlefield of golf, and when the pain goes away she will have a scar that she can be proud of because she did what was right.

Hope, thank you for restoring my faith in the integrity of this great game.

Greg Snow
PGA
RCW golf coach

Another view: Twins are 'tagging along'; success won't continue

Give Grantland's Michael Baumann credit for an entertaining approach as he points out why the Minnesota Twins are not the title contender you may want them to be.

We'll send you to his full piece for the cultural references, but here are some quick takes from Baumann on why the Twins' 28-18 start isn't the beginning of a road to glory in 2015:

"The Twins have brought up pitcher Trevor May, who’s been below average, and outfielder Aaron Hicks, who’s been terrible. But top prospects Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, J.O. Berrios, and Alex Meyer remain in the minor leagues. The major addition to last year’s 92-loss team was the wilting, desiccated husk of Torii Hunter, a nostalgia trip who seems ill aware that his days as a superstar are a thing of the past.

"So how in the world are the Twins sitting 10 games above .500?"

Baumann cites some of the data also used in La Velle E. Neal III's story about the team's success. Some of the numbers explain why the Twins are winning -- and also fuel skepticism about whether the Twins can keep winning.

"Despite the breakout 2014 seasons from Brian Dozier and Trevor Plouffe carrying over through the first two months of this year, as well as Hunter turning in a 117 OPS+, the Twins rank 20th in OBP and 17th in slugging percentage," Baumann writes. "And while new manager Paul Molitor is calling for bunts far less frequently than his predecessor, Ron Gardenhire, that’s a marginal thing at this point in the season.

"On the mound, Phil Hughes turned from the greatest control pitcher ever back into something approaching league average. The Twins are 16th in ERA, 21st in opponent OPS, and — true to their reputation — last in K/9, almost three-quarters of a strikeout per game behind 29th-place Colorado.

"What you’ll notice, however, is that while the underlying numbers paint Minnesota’s success as a fluke, there’s not really one area to which we can attribute the Twins’ punching above their weight."

Baumann builds his case with more statistical evidence from the first quarter of the season and concludes that the Twins, despite being tied for the third best record in baseball, are pretty much just tagging along with more talented teams.

"This 28-18 start isn’t for real," he writes. "But something doesn’t have to be real to make you feel good. There’s something to be said for just tagging along."

You can read the full piece here. You may not like it, but it's worth going there.

Local Schedule

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    1:10pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • New York Cosmos at Minnesota United FC

    7pm

  • Saints at Laredo

    7:30pm on 105.1-FM

  • Toronto at Twins

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  • Saints at Laredo

    7:30pm on 1220-AM

  • Saints at Grand Prairie

    7:05pm on 1220-AM

  • Saints at Grand Prairie

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  • Saints at Grand Prairie

    7:05pm on 1220-AM

  • Sioux Falls at Saints

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Today's Scoreboard

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    1:10 PM

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    2:05 PM

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