The St. Olaf men’s golf team started off the school year with a bang, winning a team title at the Cobber Fall Invitational in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Senior Kristian Woie ’19 led the way by winning the individual men’s championship.
The invitational took place at the Wildflower Golf Course, one of the harder courses the team will play this year.
“There were a lot of blind holes where we couldn’t see where we were shooting, so we walked the course to see the holes,” Woie said.
While battling 20 mph winds, Woie started off the day with a triple bogey, but he kept his cool and finished the day with 7 birdies and ultimately shot a 72 (E), leading the competition by three strokes. The second day he shot a 77 (+5), winning the tournament by two strokes.
Woie was happy with his play and explained that his relaxed mindset helped him the most.
“I’ve really been working on keeping my mind in the right place and finding the fun in golf,” said Woie.“This summer I found the joy in golf again by playing with my high school buddies. Family members were telling me ‘you’re so much more relaxed with this golf thing!’”
The St. Olaf men’s team tied with Concordia College by the end of the weekend at 615 strokes, but won the tiebreaker by comparing the fifth-place finishers of
each team. Concordia’s fifth place player shot an 85 compared to St. Olaf’s Casey Parker ’22 who shot an 82. Parker and Adrian Edralin ’22 have been key additions to the team.
“The two first-years are coming in playing great,” Woie said This is one of the best teams I’ve played on here at Olaf.”
Goals for the season are high and the ath;etes hope to be strong competitors throughout the season.
“I just want to keep the momentum going,” Woie said. “I feel like I’m really hitting a stride right now, and I’m really hoping to stay competitive and have fun.”
The following weekend, the golf team continued their stellar play beating Carleton and Macalaster College in a Triangular match at Willinger’s Golf Course in Northfield, Minn.
St. Olaf took the leaderboard by storm, with Woie, Steven Magagna ’19 and Noah Parker ’20 tying for first individually to help the team with the title. The Oles won with a team score of 327, beating Carleton by a mere five strokes.
Woie finished first two weekends in a row. This high level of play earned MIAC Men’s Golf Athlete of the Week. This acolade marked the first time a St. Olaf men’s golfer has been named Athlete of the Week since 2014.
The St. Olaf men’s golf team will be back in action Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 22-23, looking to win another tournament at the Jewel Golf Course for the St. Mary’s Invitational.
With Woie, Parker and other seniors playing well, the team has the great chance to compete for a MIAC championship.