Iron Range golfers made their presence known Wednesday with a pair of top 16 finishes at the Class A and Class AA State Golf Tournaments.
Virginia golfer Bryce Wainio rolled in a putt from about 30 feet on his last hole, which helped him earn a tie for 16th at the Class AA tournament in Jordan.
“He had two good days,’’ said Virginia co-head coach Pat McBride. “It’s the best golf he’s played all spring. I think he just wanted it.’’
What was behind Wainio’s run to state and the success on the big stage?
“I played pretty well both days at sections and I think it just followed into this week,’’ the Mountain Iron-Buhl senior and Devils golfer said in a telephone interview.
The last-hole birdie (No. 9 on the course) enabled Wainio to card a 79 on day two and achieve his goal.
“My goal was just to shoot in the 70s both of the days so that was nice.’’
The 18-year-old said he felt some pressure on the first tee shot at state, but he was just more excited than anything. While the course didn’t exactly fit his game and getting around was a struggle at times, Wainio said, “I managed it really well and played well.’’
“It was awesome watching him,’’ McBride said. “His short game was fantastic. He’s a happy young man and so are his coaches.’’
Wainio will continue golfing this summer and plans to play at the University of Wisconsin Superior in the fall.
In the Class A Tournament in Becker, North Woods’ Sam Frazee helped lead his team to a sixth-place finish after firing a two-day score of 161. He carded a 79 on day one and an 82 on day two.
Frazee, a sophomore, finished 17-over par, which was good for an 11th-place tie.
The Grizzlies also saw sophomore Ian Olson finish tied for 45th after finishing with a two-day total of 176. Olson shot an 89 on day one and cut two strokes on Wednesday to record an 87.
For Eveleth-Gilbert in Class AA, junior Cody Stanisich finished in a tie for 62nd with a 36-hole score of 171. He fired a 86 one day one and did one better with an 85 on the final day.
His teammate Elliot Van Orsdel improved by two shots on day two to finish in 75th place with a score of 176. He carded an 89 on his first 18 holes and an 87 to close out the tournament.
For the Section 7A-winning Grizzlies, Chase Kleppe, a senior, finished in 60th place with a combined score of 186, senior Blake Scofield carded a 187 to wind up tied for 61st and freshman Davis Kleppe was two strokes back (189) in a tie for 65th. Freshman Ty Fabish rounded out the Grizzlies team by finishing 85th with a score of 230.
In Class AA, Red Wing senior Cecil Belisle won the tournament with a 1-under par 143. Holy Family Catholic took the team title with a score of 620.
In Class A, Community Christian sophomore Brett Reid was the champion with a 1-over par 145. Community Christian also won the team title with a final score of 655.