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Pierre golfer wins Hub City Open in seven-hole playoff

Aberdeen Roncalli’s Finn Anderson watches his tee shot on the eighth hole at Lee Park Golf Course during Tuesday’s Hub City Invitational Golf Tournament. Photo by John Davis taken 8/29/2023

It came down to a multiple-hole playoff before an eventual champion emerged at the Hub City Invitational Golf Tournament.

Pierre’s Nick Bothun captured the individual title in a seven-hole playoff at Lee Park Golf Course on Tuesday.

Bothun shot a 68, finishing in a tie with Watertown’s Jake Olson after 18 holes, forcing a playoff between the golfers.

“(I was) hoping it didn’t take as long as it did,” Bothun said. “I was excited. I played with Jake all day, so it wasn’t going to be anything too different, I guess.”

Before the playoff took place, Bothun had an up-and-down performance through the first 18, but managed to dig himself out of holes to put himself in position for the win.

“I think I got up and down every single time that I had to inside of like 30 yards or so, and I had 23 putts and I also chipped in twice,” Bothun said, “so my wedges and, I guess, short game was just really, really good today.”

Once the playoff began, it seemed to never end, which felt strange to Bothun.

“I expected one of us to make a birdie a lot quicker on one of the previous holes,” Bothun said. “We both parred a short par-five where probably both of us almost should’ve birdied.”

While the hard-fought win felt good, Bothun knows there is still room for improvement.

“I still really need to work on my driving off the tee,” Bothun said. “I also don’t hit very many greens, so I just really need to work on my ball striking and getting off the tee in general.”

Nick Bothun, of Pierre, watches his tee shot on the second hole at Lee Park Golf Course during Tuesday’s Hub City Invitational Golf Tournament. Photo by John Davis taken 8/29/2023

Watertown had golfers finish in places second through sixth with last year’s champ Kaden Rylance of Watertown finishing third.

Aberdeen Roncalli’s Lucas Daggett and Finn Anderson finished in a four-way tie for seventh with scores of 76. Anderson said the key for him was making his fairway shots and putts.

“I actually hit a lot of fairways, that helped,” Anderson said, “and the putts kind of dropped, but you know, the driver was really working today and that helped.”

Anderson said the key on the course is putting yourself in position to score.

“You’ve got to hit the fairway to score on this course, especially out here,” Anderson said. “I think I did a pretty good job of that, but sometimes it was a little off.”

Roncalli coach Jon Murdy was impressed with how Anderson and Daggett played.

“Well, Lucas, we finally got him to realize that he can play and he can play well,” Murdy said. “Finn’s very steady.”

The Cavaliers finished in third place as a team with a score of 310, behind champion Watertown (280) and runner-up Pierre (298).

Murdy was pleased with how the team performed.

“Just happy that they kept improving,” Murdy said. “That’s the goal every tournament, every day, we try to improve on our team score, try to improve on our individual scores, and just try to improve all around, and they were doing that today.”

Murdy says the team wants to continue to improve each time on the course.

“They always want to get better, and that’s what’s great about them,” Murdy said. “So, hopefully we can figure out what we need to work on a little bit more, and we can practice it a little bit more, and just keep improving.”

Aberdeen Central finished in fourth place with a team score of 319. The Golden Eagles were led by Peyton Brust, who finished in 15th place with a score of 78.

Brust said he struggled at times throughout the meet.

“I played ok,” Brust said. “It was a little bit of a struggle off the tee. I missed a lot of shots.”

Brust said the biggest improvement he can make is being under control and combining the elements of his game together.

Aberdeen Central’s Peyton Brust hits his approach shot on the second hole at Lee Park Golf Course during Tuesday’s Hub City Invitational Golf Tournament. Photo by John Davis taken 8/29/2023

“Make sure I’m more controlled off the tee,” Brust said. “Irons and short game has been a struggle, but it’s starting to come around, so if I just piece it together I should be ok.”

Central head coach Matt Brust said the team had ups-and-downs throughout the day.

“It was pretty solid for most of it, but then the bad was extra bad,” Brust said. “Those big numbers, they have to be avoided in order to get in those top five or seven spots.”

Brust said the team will keep working on trying to correct mistakes as the season goes on.

“It’s a realization of where you can and can’t hit it (and) where you can miss it,” Brust said. “It’s always learning, no matter how old you are, golf is always continuously learning.”

Other Roncalli players included Andrew Gerlach and Jesse Hernandez tying for 16th place (79), Gannon May tying for 27th place (85), Matthew Gerlach tying for 30th place (88), and Aidan Hernandez tying for 39th place (94). Owen Vogel tied for 51st place (105), while Jakson Levno placed 58th (114).

Other Central golfers included Jackson Ravellette tying for 16th place (79), Kyler Senger and Cole Brust tying for 21st (81), Carter Blanchard tying for 25th (82), and Quincy Madsen placing 35th (90). To see complete results, click on the following link:

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