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Golf: Park Rapids boys go through rebuilding season – Park Rapids Enterprise

With only juniors Nolan Eckmann and Hunter Harrison returning from last year’s starting lineup, head coach Jeff Anderson knew it would be a rebuilding season for the Park Rapids boys golf team.

That proved to be the case as a shortened season resulted in the Panthers placing fifth at the Mid-State Conference meet and fourth at the Section 8AA North tournament. Highlighting the season was qualifying two golfers to the Section 8AA tournament.

Filling in the other starting spots were juniors Jeremiah Olson and Quincy Squires and sophomores Conner Hanson, Jack Moses and Noah Phillippi.

At the season opening Staples-Motley Invitational at The Vintage, the Panthers placed ninth with a 414 as Albany carded a 315 to top the nine-team field. Leading Park Rapids were Eckmann’s 83, Squires’ 101, Hanson’s 114 and Phillippi’s 116.

The Panthers carded a 358 to finish sixth at the 10-team Park Rapids Invitational at Headwaters Golf Club with Eckmann’s 84, Squires’ 85, Harrison’s 93 and Hanson’s 96 comprising the team score. Moorhead won the team title with a 306.

Conner Hanson capped off the 2022 season by qualifying for the Section 8AA tournament. Hanson had a 96.7 average in 18-hole tournaments and a 46.7 average in Northern Pines Conference meets.

Vance Carlson/Park Rapids Enterprise

Phillippi’s 89, Squires’ 91, Hanson’s 92 and Harrison’s 93 led Park Rapids to a 365 at the Mid-State Conference meet at Detroit Lakes. Eckmann carded a 94 and Olson added a 115. Detroit Lakes carded a 315 to win the conference title for the 28th year in a row.

The Panthers closed out the season by carding a 364 at the Section 8AA North tournament at Headwaters Golf Club. Eckmann carded an 85 and Hanson had an 89 to advance to the Section 8AA tournament. A pair of 95s by Harrison and Phillippi rounded out the team score while Squires and Moses carded 96s. Roseau won the subsection title with a 310 and captured the Section 8AA title with rounds of 318 and 321 for a 639.

Eckmann carded rounds of 85 and 84 for a 169 to finish 15th while Hanson had rounds of 93 and 96 for a 189 to finish 43rd at the section tournament.

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Hunter Harrison posted a 93.7 average in 18-hole tournaments and a 44.5 average in Northern Pines Conference meets during the 2022 season.

Vance Carlson/Park Rapids Enterprise

In the Northern Pines Conference opener, the Panthers tied for first on the front side and took first on the back side at Wadena’s Whitetail Run Golf Course. Harrison’s 41, Eckmann’s 44, Squires’ 45 and Hanson’s 46 led to a 176 on the front side while Eckmann’s 42 for medalist honors, Squires’ 43, and a pair of 46s by Harrison and Phillippi produced a 177 on the back side.

At the second NPC meet at Bemidji’s Castle Highlands, Park Rapids finished fourth on the front side and second on the back side. The Panthers carded a 175 on the front side behind Phillippi’s 42, a pair of 43s by Eckmann and Harrison, and a 47 by Squires. Phillippi earned medalist honors on the back side with a 37 while Eckmann’s 42, Squires’ 43 and Hanson’s 44 led to a 166 on the back side. United North Central carded a 161 on the front while Walker-Hackensack-Akeley had a 159 on the back to lead the way.

Walker’s LongBow Golf Club hosted the final NPC meet with the Panthers tying for third on the front side and placing fourth on the back side. Park Rapids had a 172 on the front behind Squires’ 40, Eckmann’s 43, Harrison’s 44 and Hanson’s 45 while Squires’ 42 and 44s by Eckmann, Harrison and Hanson led to a 174 on the back. Nevis led the pack on the front with a 166 while UNC had a 160 on the back.

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Quincy Squires was second on the team with a 93.3 average in 18-hole tournaments and a 43.3 average in Northern Pines Conference play during the 2022 season.

Vance Carlson/Park Rapids Enterprise

“This year was definitely a rebuilding year and I thought we had a mediocre season. The big thing that hurt was the late start to the season. Our first day outside was May 4 on the range. You can’t learn anything by practicing in the wrestling room for five weeks,” said Anderson. “I thought we had a good chance to move on in the subsection and we should have gone to sections as a team, but we didn’t play well on our home course. Having only four weeks before the subsection tournament and having no time to practice hurt.”

The Panthers had a 375.3 average in their four 18-hole tournaments, including a 362.3 average in their last three meets, while posting a 173.3 average in the six NPC meets.

Eckmann led the Panthers with an 85.8 average in six 18-hole tournaments and a 43.0 average in the six NPC meets. Squires had a 93.3 average in four 18-hole rounds and a 43.3 average in NPC meets. Harrison played three 18-hole rounds and had a 93.7 average while carding a 44.5 average in NPC play. Hanson posted a 96.7 average in six 18-hole tournaments and had a 46.7 average in NPC meets. Phillippi played in four 18-hole rounds and had a 101.8 average. Moses had a 112.3 average in three 18-hole rounds and had a 52.5 average in two NPC meets. Olson finished with a 120.0 average in two 18-hole tournaments and a 53.3 average in six NPC appearances. Eckmann had averages of 84.6 in 18-hole rounds and 42.7 in NPC meets while Harrison posted averages of 95.4 in 18-hole rounds and 44.5 in NPC meets last season.

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Noah Phillippi carded a 101.8 average in 18-hole tournaments for the Panthers during the 2022 season.

Vance Carlson/Park Rapids Enterprise

With no seniors on the roster, Anderson is counting on his returning golfers to put in some time this summer as the Panthers seek to make a run at winning the Northern Pines Conference title, advancing to the Section 8AA tournament and having a golfer or two contend for a state berth next spring.

“In previous years, we had 12 events. This year we only had seven. The kids lost a lot of chances to gain experience,” said Anderson. “The other teams have a lot of young golfers returning too, but I think we’ll be very competitive next year. I see us competing to win the Northern Pines and I look for us to make it to the section tournament.”

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