In golf, maybe more than any other sport, you need everything clicking together.
A bad day with the driver can ruin the best of days with the irons and putter, and vice versa.
Monday, at the first day of 8AAA section play, Magic senior Mitch Gifford had everything going. The senior played outstanding from tee to green, knocked in some big putts, and shot an 80. That was easily low enough to move him to the second day of competition, Tuesday.
Gifford begin Tuesday’s round, also played at Greystone Golf Course in Sauk Centre, striking the ball beautifully. But on day two, the putts that were falling Monday would not fall again.
“He just could not get anything going down,” said Coach Brian Hoffman. “He was playing tee to green really well. I was really impressed with how he was swinging the club.”
To make matters worse, Gifford had to slog through wet conditions with temperatures hanging around 50 degrees for much of the day.
“The conditions were just horrible today,” added Hoffman. “It was tough out there.”
Monticello’s lone second day participant finished with a 94, for a two-day total of 174.
Monday was a much different story.
On a nice weather day Gifford went out and played consistently well around the course.
Hoffman noted that he played well from tee to green, and perhaps even more consistently on the greens, where he didn’t have a single three putt on the day.
“He was in good shape,” said Hoffman, about the end of day one. “Really in contention.”
Gifford may have faded from contention Tuesday, but he still realized a season-long goal of making it to the second day of section play.
“He was really happy that he made it to the second day,” said Hoffman. “That was really a pretty big deal.”
For Gifford, it was the second trip to the second day. Last year him and Ryan Frucci both found themselves playing on the second day of competition.
This year, the 80 that he shot in the first round marked his second best score of the year. It was just one off of the 79 that he shot last week to earn second place at the St. Cloud Invitational.
The Magic finished second out of five teams at that invite, scoring a 334 overall. James Sherwood was next low with an 81 on the card.
At the section meet, Gifford was the only one to get below the high 80s for the Magic.
Kyle Kitzman shot an 88, Tyler Talbott turned in an 89 and Colton Jones finished with a 90, to round out the Magic’s top four scorers at the meet.
Alexandria won the section with a two-day total of 623. Nick Brundell of Alexandria and Tony Kallevig of Willmar tied for top individual honors with a total of 146 strokes over two days.
Contact Clay Sawatzke at [email protected]