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Dale and Phelps represent Bemidji at state golf meet

Meg Phelps (left) and Trey Dale represented Bemidji at Tuesday's Class 3-A state golf meet at Bunker Hills. Phelps shot 90 in the first round while Dale finished at 77. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Trey Dale shot a 5-over-par 77 in his first state tournament round at Bunker Hills and the Bemidji junior enters today's final 18 holes in 36th place among the 88 Class 3-A golfers.

In the girls division Meg Phelps finished with a 90 on the par-73 women's layout. The low rounds of the day were the 80s posted by Lexi Bollant of Buffalo and Maxine Carlson of Alexandria.

Rain late in the day slowed play and there were girls golfers on the course past 7 p.m.

"We got off the course just in time. It's pouring now," said Bemidji girls coach Jeff Nelson at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. "Most of the kids were able to get their rounds in before the rain but some of them are still out there."

BHS boys coach Seth Knudson was pleased with Dale's play even though the Lumberjack junior felt he should have scored better.

"There are some shots Trey would like to have back but everybody in the field had that same experience," Knudson said. "Trey was bummed about his round and I think he is capable of shooting lower but for his first round at the state tournament he played very well."

Max Kelly of Forest Lake carded Tuesday's low round as the sophomore shot 2-under-par 70. Drew Lynch of Stillwater is in second with a 71.

Dale had a solid round, according to Knudson, and he played the final six holes at even-par. When he needed to scramble Dale was able to hit the perfect shot more times than not.

"There was a hole when he needed to get down from the trees to save par and Troy did it," the coach said. "I thought he played very well."

Knudson, who is making his debut at Bunker Hills as a head coach, said that the course is in great shape and is the perfect venue for a state high school meet.

"This is a great tournament and a great golf course," Knudson said. "It is in fantastic shape and if you are playing well you will score well. But if you hit a poor shot you will be penalized."

Weather permitting Dale will return to the tee at 7:48 a.m. today. He will play with Dalton Charboneau and Ross Miller, both of Osseo, and Michael Klampe of Century. All four golfers in the group shot 77 Tuesday.

The weather forecast, however, called for heavy rain overnight and an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms today.

Nelson said the girls field included many rounds in the mid and upper-90s and that, overall, Phelps played well.

"Meg had one hiccup and that was on the fifth hole of the East Course," Nelson. "She hit a poor drive and struggled to recover. Meg ended up with a triple on the hole.

"But for most of the day she played steady golf," Nelson continued. "Some of her putts just wouldn't go down but if they had she could have been around 86. I think Meg's in good position for the second round."

The Class A boys golf meet begins today at Pebble Creek in Becker and four area athletes will be in the field.

Nick Liapis of Blackduck and Corey Beaulieu of Red Lake will be in the same foursome and they will hit the first tee 7:48 a.m.

Cody Wind of Cass Lake-Bena will begin his round at 7:57 a.m. and teammate Randahl Johnson has an 8:06 a.m. tee time.

In the Class 2-A meet in Jordan, Aaron Leintz of Bagley qualified for the state meet and he will tee off at 8:33 a.m. today.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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