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Going out on top

Nate Deziel of East Grand Forks Senior High hits a shot during Wednesday's final round of the Minnesota state Class AA golf tournament. Photo/Robert Williams, Detroit Lakes Tribune.1 / 2
East Grand Forks Senior High's Nate Deziel tees of Wednesday in the final round of the Minnesota state Class AA golf tournament. Photo/Robert Williams, Detroit Lakes Tribune.2 / 2

JORDAN, Minn.—Nate Deziel had one sub-70 round of golf all spring—until this week. Then he achieved it on back-to-back days.

That was good enough for him to become the first East Grand Forks Senior High athlete to win the title at a Minnesota state boys high school golf tournament.

After an opening-round score of 69 on Tuesday, Deziel ended his prep career with a 68 on Wednesday. His two-day score of 137 allowed the senior to edge runner-up and 2016 state champion Derek Hitchner of The Blake School by one stroke for medalist honors at the Class AA state meet.

In third place at 139 was defending state champion Cecil Belisle of Red Wing.

"It's awesome,'' Deziel said in a phone interview. "I didn't expect anything like this. I knew I had a game to compete with the top contenders. But I don't think you ever expect to win a state title. It's unbelievable.''

Deziel had to hold off the strong-finishing Hitchner.

"It came down to the last three holes,'' Deziel said. "I made three pars on Nos. 16, 17 and 18. He played the last three at 3-under, birdie, par, eagle. It came down to the last hole. I tapped in for par and enjoyed it.''

Deziel finished at 7-under. The senior had four bogeys over 36 holes and 11 birdies on The Ridges at Sand Creek. "It's the toughest course I've played this season,'' Deziel said.

"When you go 7-under over two days on that course, you're doing something right,'' Senior High coach Jay Frydenlund said. "That's a tough course. But he hit the ball well and made some putts. Nate had to play fantastic golf.''

Deziel played as he has all season. The win was the 11th time he was medalist in 12 meets, finishing second in the other.

"I played like I have all year,'' Deziel said. "I made a couple more birdies than I usually have. I was putting the ball on the fairway and on the green consistently. And I made some putts.''

Deziel hasn't signed anywhere to play college golf next season.

"I think his stock shot up a little after this,'' Frydenlund said.

"It's not a surprise that he won. I've watched Nate play for umpteen years. He's as good as anybody. There were a lot of Division I recruits (in the field). He took them all down. It was quite an accomplishment.''

Tiedemann, Hufnagle

make top 10

Two area athletes earned top-10 finishes in girls state golf tournaments.

Crookston's Ally Tiedemann finished fifth in Class AA, her third straight top-10 finish. The senior shot a 71 on Wednesday for a two-day score of 151.

In the Class A tournament at Becker, Lake of the Woods junior Sydney Hufnagle shot an 80 on Wednesday for a two-day score of 165. She finished eighth.

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