BECKER — Eleven years passed since the last time the Bethlehem Academy boys golf team last made the state tournament.
The Cardinals are hopeful the next gap is shorter.
With six of seven members returning in 2020, five of which were underclassmen, BA finished in seventh place at the Minnesota State High School League Class A tournament at Pebble Creek.
BA posted a 738 (372-366) total score.
The one loss is a big one for the Cardinals. Their four-time state entrant Khrystjan Petersen capped his prep career by leading the team with a 166 (78-88) to finish tied for 18th place.
Petersen fired a 2-under 34 on the easier front nine, his final nine of the day, in round one Tuesday. He started on the back nine again on another blustery but drier day Wednesday.
A rarity of nine consecutive scores of 5 on his card dropped him out of the top 10. He began the day in sixth place and six off the lead.
“It’s kind of the first year we’ve had the wind that played a factor,” Petersen said of annual site Pebble Creek. “It was like 90 (degrees) last year and no wind so it was a little easier. Had a little rain this year, too.
“The back nine’s really hard. Today just not striking off the tee like I was yesterday. So not being able to put it in play made it a lot tougher than it needed to be.”
His splits were 45-43 with six pars.
“He’s a big help to the team, so it’s going to be a huge loss,” said sophomore Brody Pavel, “but we had some pretty young people so I hope they can step up next year.”
Pavel is the third oldest on the team. He was the second lowest in the tournament.
Pavel shaved off 10 strokes to card an 89 to finish 64th. He birdied the 415-yard par 4 thanks in part to a good tee ball and also made five pars.
Brayden Larson posted the day’s third qualifying score. The seventh-grader improved by eight to post a 91 with five pars. He finished tied for 67th.
Larson’s classmate Willie Potter posted a second 98 with four pars for the team’s final qualifying score.
“We did good. Not as good as we expected to do, obviously,” Pavel said. “We sort of knew going in we really didn’t have a shot at first, we were just sort of here to have fun and learn it for next year.”
Sophomore Elliot Smith followed up a 97 with a 101 to finish in 76th. He made two pars on Wednesday.
Junior Ben Cohen shaved off one to card 105 with a par.
“It was nice to have them out here and be part of this,” Petersen said. “It’s nice to go as a team and not just by yourself. It was going to be tough, I don’t remember who it was who shot 89. It’s tough out here and it was nice to have them see that and have the experience.”
Team results — 1. Community Christian 655 (328-327)
2. Springfield 658 (323-335)
T3. Fertile-Beltrami 676 (337-339)
T3. Lac qui Parle Valley 676 (345-331)
5. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley/Laporte 692 (351-341)
6. North Woods 699 (353-346)
7. Bethlehem Academy 738 (372-366)
8. Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda 754 (373-381)
Top-10 individual results
1. Brett Reid, Community Christian 145 (72-73) +1
2. Harrizon Patzer, LqPV, 149 (77-72) +5)
3. Alex Iverson, Park Christian, 154 (74-80) 10
4. Mason Kretsch, Springfield, 155 (75-80) +11
T5. Mavrick Winkelmann, Springfield, 157 (77-80) +13
T5. Kurt Lambert, Heritage Christian Academy, 157 (79-78) +13
7. Brady Raph, Pine River-Backus, 160 (81-79) +16
T7. Jack Pierson, Murray County Central, 160 (80-80) +16
T7. Hayden Hennen, Kittson County Central, 160 (80-80) +16
T7. Logan Netzke, Sleepy Eye United, 160 (78-82) +16