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BOYS GOLF: Schaefer tames wind

Complaints of four-putts and scores in the 80s filled the Grand Forks Country Club on Monday as golfers entered the clubhouse after their rounds. Nick Schaefer, though, was the exception. The Grand Forks Red River senior mastered the cold and win...

Complaints of four-putts and scores in the 80s filled the Grand Forks Country Club on Monday as golfers entered the clubhouse after their rounds.

Nick Schaefer, though, was the exception.

The Grand Forks Red River senior mastered the cold and windy day to shoot a 74 and earn medalist honors at the Grand Forks Invitational East Region boys golf meet.

"I was amazed at that 74," Red River coach Merle Mikkelsen said. "It was a tough day to play. It was tough to get the ball to stick on the greens. But the real good players aren't as affected by the wind."

That proved to be the case for Schaefer, who shot 37s on the front and back nine. Schaefer birdied some of the course's toughest holes -- Nos. 5, 8, 17 and 18.

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"I had to play really well to get that 74," Schaefer said. "I had a couple bad bogeys down the stretch, but other than that it went pretty well."

It was Schaefer's second consecutive medalist honor. He won the Fargo North Invitational last week.

This time, Schaefer had to master the gusty course for the victory.

"Nick hits the ball so square," Mikkelsen said. "He doesn't give it a chance to take a bad bounce."

Schaefer edged Fargo North's Adam Eshenko and Fargo Shanley's Pat Thomas, who each shot 75s.

"I just tried to keep it in play and limit my penalty strokes," Schaefer said. "I tried to hit the middle of the green because the greens were quick and hard. Once I was on the green, I just wanted to two-putt and run."

Schaefer's top score led the Roughriders to a fourth-place team finish. Dan Johnson (82), Mike Slominski (85) and Cory Keegan (86) also scored for Red River.

Behind Thomas' 75, Shanley won the team title with 317 strokes. Fargo North took second with 319 and Wahpeton third with 324.

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A balanced lineup was the key for the Deacons, who earned their first team victory of the season.

After Thomas' 75, Pat Sinner had an 80 and Trent Olson and Mike Nelson had 81s. The Deacons didn't even need to use the other strong scores of Aaron Johnson and Derek Steiner, who each shot 82s.

"They're pretty consistent," Shanley coach Don Johnson said. "Even when players are saying they three- and four-putted, they played steady.

"Pat with a 75 is a real nice round today. Schaefer had a 74, and he plays (at the Country Club). Without that 75, then we're in second again."

Grand Forks Central, paced by Justin Moody's 87, was ninth with 363.

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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