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BOYS GOLF: Bemidji lands 2nd at home as Ryan Daman rides redemption tour

Daman’s day started with a bogey on No. 18, then a triple bogey on No. 1 and a double bogey on No. 2. But he returned from an hour-long delay with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 3 and 4, and the revival was on.

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Bemidji sophomore Ryan Daman sinks a long putt at hole No. 6 during the Bemidji Invitational on Monday, May 9, 2022, at the Bemidji Town and Country Club.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
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BEMIDJI -- Right when Ryan Daman needed a reset, it started hailing.

“I did not start off hot today,” the Bemidji High School boys golf sophomore said. “I think I was expecting too much coming into it. That hour-long break settled me down, and I ended up going out and playing well the rest of the way after that.”

Daman was 6-over-par after three holes at Monday’s home invite at the Bemidji Town and Country Club. But a flash of lightning and then a hailstorm interrupted his rocky start, forcing everyone back into the clubhouse for a delay that lasted about an hour.

“It was a really good thing for Bemidji today because we started poorly,” BHS head coach Seth Knudson said. “Our first two holes were not good. I talked to the kids and said, ‘You’ve just got to reset. It’s like rebooting a computer. You’ve had three bad holes. Forget about them. Go out there and start all over again.’ And they did. They came back out there and did pretty well, so I’m proud of them.”

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Bemidji junior Nick Yavarow lines up his putt at hole No. 7 during the Bemidji Invitational on Monday, May 9, 2022, at the Bemidji Town and Country Club.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Daman emulated that turnaround perhaps better than anyone. He finished out his round and posted a 7-over 79, placing fifth individually and leading the Lumberjacks to second place among 14 teams.

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“It’s tough out there, playing with this wind and the rain,” Daman said. “(My mindset) was one shot at a time the whole time.”

Daman’s day started with a bogey on No. 18, then a triple bogey on No. 1 and a double bogey on No. 2. But he returned from the delay with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 3 and 4, and the revival was on.

Daman also birdied on No. 10 and No. 11, shooting at a medalist pace and overcoming his shaky start.

“As a coach, that’s all you can ask from a kid: In weather like this, just keep grinding to the very end,” Knudson said. “Knowing where he started -- 6-over after three and he finished 7-over on the day -- you can’t ask for any more than that. That’s pretty good.”

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Bemidji sophomore Simon Fredrickson tees off at hole No. 4 during the Bemidji Invitational on Monday, May 9, 2022, at the Bemidji Town and Country Club.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Daman said it certainly wasn’t his smoothest round, as he struggled to land in the middle of fairways and didn’t settle into a rhythm until late. But posting that kind of score on a day like Monday bodes well for Bemidji’s potential long-term.

“Our team is young, so it’s nice when we can come out and place second,” Daman said. “It feels good. We have a pretty bright future with five sophomores on the varsity team. When you come out and shoot (327) in these conditions, it’s good. It’s really good.”

A number of other Lumberjacks also stormed the top of the leaderboard. Simon Fredrickson tied for sixth with a 9-over 81, while Nick Yavarow tied for eighth with a 10-over 82. Carter Fish closed the team score, tying for 17th with his 85.

BHS also had a second team in the field, which finished sixth overall with a team score of 348. Weston Seitz led that group with an 85 to tie for 17th. Other scorers in the field were Harrison Schaalma (tie for 21st, 86), John Loch (tie for 31st, 78) and Axel Lillquist (tie for 34th, 89).

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Bemidji sophomore Eli Tuomala putts at hole No. 6 during the Bemidji Invitational on Monday, May 9, 2022, at the Bemidji Town and Country Club.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

“These kids love golf,” Knudson said. “They live out here, man. They’re golfing all the time. … There were kids today who -- considering the weather -- still felt like they should shoot 75. That might not have been in the cards today, but it’s a good thing. These kids really, really want to be good.”

Pequot Lakes won the invite by 11 strokes with a team score of 316. The Patriots also had the individual winner in Tyler Seeling, who fired a 1-under 71.

Bemidji has a quick turnaround, next teeing off at an invite in Park Rapids at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 10, at Headwaters Country Club.

Team Results

1-Pequot Lakes 316; 2-Bemidji 327; 3-Detroit Lakes 332; 4-Roseau 334; 5-Staples-Motley 344; 6-Bemidji B 348; 7-Hawley 349; 8-Pine River-Backus 352; 9-Perham 360; 10-Thief River Falls 374; 11-Grand Rapids 377; 12-Wadena-Deer Creek 380; 13-Crookston 381; 14-East Grand Forks 384.

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Bemidji sophomore Carter Fish chips toward the pin at hole No. 6 during the Bemidji Invitational on Monday, May 9, 2022, at the Bemidji Town and Country Club.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
051122.S.BP.BHSBGOLF Nick Carlson.jpg
Bemidji sophomore Nick Carlson chips out of a bunker at hole No. 6 during the Bemidji Invitational on Monday, May 9, 2022, at the Bemidji Town and Country Club.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Micah Friez is the sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he joined the Pioneer in 2015 and is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Lumberjack and Beaver updates.
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