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Whitchurch wins 3AA title

Litchfield senior Andrew Whitchurch sinks a short birdie putt on No. 6 on the way to the Section 3AA low score Friday, a 35-34-69, at Eagle Creek Golf Club in Willmar. It's the first trip as an individual to the state meet for the five-year varsity performer. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

WILLMAR -- One week after a narrow loss in the sub-section meet, Andrew Whitchurch got a measure of satisfaction by winning the Section 3AA boys golf meet at Eagle Creek Golf Club on Friday afternoon.

Whitchurch, a senior from Litchfield, shot 35-34-69 on a near perfect day. His best 18-hole score of the year was three strokes better than Yellow Medicine East sophomore Taylor Olson, who came in at even-par 72. Right behind him was his teamate Tyler Jensvold, a senior who shot 73 and will be making his second state trip.

Litchfield had lost the sub-section meet on the last hole to New London-Spicer.

At Willmar, the Wildcats ended up second to Fairmont by six strokes, 312- 318.

"We felt Fairmont was the team to beat, but it's disappointing," said Chris Tobkin, who plays the first slot for NLS.

The Wildcats' Ryan Bergh shot 39-38-77 to qualify for his second straight meet. Tobkin was hot and cold but also shot a 77. Playing in the final foursome, he covered the back nine in 33 strokes to lead at the halfway point.

But on the back he knew nothing but trouble and limped home with a 44.

"That's golf," he commented.

The Fairmont Cardinals were led by their No. 1, Myles Pfingsten, a long hitter who posted a 35-38-73.

The boys Class AA state meet, held the same date and place as the AA girls, is June 3-4 at the Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan.

Matt Thomas of Litchfield shot a 79 to tie for ninth place and Sam Peterson an 81 to tie for 13th.

Surprisingly, YME led by two strokes after nine holes. While not expected to hold the lead because of an acknowledged lack of depth, the Sting would have finished in third if it weren't for a disqualification for improper ball placement. The disqualification cost them six strokes in the team score and dropped them behind Marshall in the final standings.

Team scoring

(1) Fairmont 312 (2) New London-Spicer 318 (3) Marshall 331 (4) Yellow Medicine East 336

Individual state qualfiers

Andrew Whitchurch, Litchfield, 69; Taylor Olson, YME, 72; Tyler Jensvold, YME 73; Chris Tobkin, NLS, 77; Ryan Bergh, NLS, 77

Area Team results

NEW LONDON-SPICER - Chris Tobkin 77, Ryan Bergh 77, Barrett Freeland 83, Joey Dreier 83, Ben Schlittler 86, Kellen Bergh 102

YELLOW MEDICINE EAST - Taylor Olson 72, Tyler Jensvold 73, Corey Johnson 95, Jake McCalla 96, Jake Sharkey 111, Mike Moritz, 39-DQ

Area Individual results

Andrew Whitchurch, Litchfield, 69; Matt Thomas, Litchfield, 79; Sam Peterson, Benson/KMS, 81; Jordan Bendel, Lac qui Parle Valley, 83; Luke Magnuson, Litchfield, 83; Taylor Hengel, Redwood Valley, 85; Phillip Ward, Montevideo, 91; Noah Mann, Montevideo, 92; Zach Whitchurch, Litchfield, 92; Jordan Burns, Benson/KMS, 93

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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