St. Peter senior tri-captains Cade Horner, Alex Wenner and Cole McCarthy started playing golf together as seventh-graders. But then they went different directions in spring sports.
Horner actually began playing golf at age 10 and stuck with it until joining the team as an eighth-grader. Wenner, as a sophomore, and McCarthy, as a junior, switched to golf after playing baseball.
The threesome agree that the team goal is to make the state tournament. They know that it may be tougher this season with defending state Class AA champion Holy Family and other teams moving to Section 2AA with St. Peter. But the captains still think the have a shot to get to the tourney.
Horner and Wenner also are shooting for state individually. McCarthy just wants to cut strokes off his score “to become better for my team and just to help us do better in our conference play and make to the state tournament.”
Teamwork could be a key to the Saints’ success.
“We’re closely bonded,” Horner said. “We play well together.”
Wenner agreed: “One of our strengths would be we’re all really close together. We all know each other pretty well. We all kind of get along.”
The Saints have prepared for the regular season by golfing in the off season. They had been practicing on the golf simulator in which they shoot into a net in a building at Gustavus Adolphus College, before the college closed due to the ongoing pandemic.
Open to the public year round Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday for $10 a hour, the golf simulator has been a popular place for the Saints to practice.
“We were using that a lot,” McCarthy said. “That’s helpful to get our swing back. I work at Shoreland [Country Club], so I always like to play golf just for enjoyment.”
McCarthy said his strengths in golf “would probably be chipping and putting, more short range. My irons are my biggest weakness, but I’m working on it going to the simulator every Tuesday, Wednesday, but now that GAC closed, it’s hard to do that.”
Wenner said his strengths are his driver and mid-irons. “My weakness would be close range from maybe 50 yards in. Putting a little bit, more so chipping around the greens.”
Horner said his strength is iron game, all of them, but he said he needs work chipping around the green, 20 yards in.
All three agreed that they need to work on their mental game.
“It’s more of a mental game,” Horner said. “Don’t blow up after a bad shot.”