The Bemidji boys golf team turned in one of its finest rounds of the season Wednesday and the reward was third place after the first 18 holes of the Section 8-3A tournament at Greystone near Sauk Centre.
The top six teams of the 12-team section field earned the opportunity to return to Greystone for today's final round. There were times this spring when the Lumberjacks seemed on the cusp of being one of the clubs on the outside looking in at the section's second round but during the latter stages of the campaign coach Seth Knutson could see his athletes narrowing the gap.
"I'm very pleased with our performance," Knutson said. "At the beginning of the year our goal was to improve each week and we have been getting better with each meet. I think the kids are starting to realize that they can challenge for the championship."
Moorhead leads the pack after the first day with 303. A close second is Buffalo at 304 while BHS is within range at 314. Also qualifying for today's second round are Fergus Falls at 320 plus Alexandria and Brainerd which both shot 326.
Individually, Trey Dale begins today's action tied for fifth with a 4-over-par 76. Elliot Leinen shot 77, Kodi Craft 80, Jordan Manick 81, Max Hazelton 82 and Kaleb Hanson 92.
Tyler Rustad of Moorhead carded Wednesday's low round with a 71.
"Moorhead and Buffalo put up some low numbers but we're going to do all we can to catch them," Knutson said. "We didn't travel all this way to settle for third place."
Section 8-3A Meet
Greystone Golf Course
Qualified for second day: Moorhead 303, Buffalo 304, Bemidji 314, Fergus Falls 320, Alexandria 326, Brainerd 326
Failed to qualify for second day: Sauk Rapids 327, Sartell 328, Monticello 338, St. Cloud Tech 340, St. Cloud Apollo 356, Big Lake 393
First day medalist: Rustad (Moor) 71
Bemidji's first day results: Dale 76, Leinen 77, Craft 80, Manick 81, Hazelton 82, Hanson 92