By STUART GROSKREUTZ – Stillwater Gazette
A sixth-place finish in Monday’s Suburban East Conference meet at Stillwater Country Club was good enough to move the Stillwater boys’ golf team up to fourth place in the overall conference standings.
Competing in blustery conditions that helped produce higher scores across the board, the Ponies posted a score of 326 to place eight shots behind first-place East Ridge (318). Cretin-Derham Hall (319) and Hastings (321) followed in second and third while conference leaders Forest Lake and Mounds View tied for fourth at 322.
"The bad news is we finished sixth. The good news is we moved up from fifth to fourth in the team standings. We beat the right teams," said Ponies coach John Scanlon, noting the fourth-place standing will put them in the final grouping for the conference tournament on May 23 at Keller Golf Club.
Stillwater freshman Sammy Sicard tied defending individual state champion Max Kelly of Forest Lake and Ryan Parise of Mounds View for medalist honors at 4-over-par 76.
Sicard saved par on the downwind par-4 finishing hole by draining a lengthy putt to match the low round of the day.
"To shoot 76 (Monday) and to tie the state champion was quite an accomplishment," Scanlon said. "He short-sided himself on 18 and had a bad lie but he made a 20-footer for par."
Charley Clements and Anthony Johnson followed with 83s for the Ponies while Lars Lillehei and Jeff Carstens each carded an 84. Graham Krumpelmann was one shot back with an 85.
"We would have liked to have played better at our home course, but all in all, it was a decent showing and it’s going to help us formulate our roster as we head into the home stretch here," Scanlon said.
n There was another player who matched the low round of the day at Stillwater Country Club when Bennett Anderson turned in a 76 while helping the Ponies turn in a score of 345 in the JV competition.
n The Ponies were also represented at the Don Saatzer varsity invitational on Monday at Hastings Country Club. The Ponies tied for sixth in the 11-team event with a score of 332. Hastings won the event with a score of 306, which was seven shots better than runner-up Burnsville (313).
Tony Pulido, who nearly aced the par-3 ninth hole on his first shot of the day – the ball settled about two inches from the hole – joined Will Henschell in leading the Ponies with matching 81s. Evan Anderson added an 83 for Stillwater, which also received an 87 from John LeClair.
Pulido’s shot was more impressive when you consider the driving range was not in use because of heavy rains.
"He hit a couple putts, but it was his first swing of the day at 8 in the morning and he knocked it two inches from the cup," Scanlon said.
1. East Ridge 318; 2. Cretin-Derham Hall 319; 3. Hastings 321; 4, tie, Forest Lake 322 and Mounds View 322; 6. Stillwater 326; 7. Woodbury 333; 8. Roseville 334; 9. Park 337; 10. White Bear Lake 344.
Stillwater results (par 72)
Sammy Sicard 76, Charley Clements 83, Anthony Johnson 83, Lars Lillehei 84, Jeff Carstens 84 and Graham Krumpelmann 85. Individual medalists: Sammy Sicard (St) 76, Max Kelly (FL) and Ryan Parise (MV) 76.
1. Mounds View 40.5; 2. Forest Lake 34.5; 3. Hastings 32.5; 4. Stillwater 25; 5. Roseville 24.5; 6. Cretin-Derham Hall 24; 7. East Ridge 21.5; 8. Woodbury 14; 9. White Bear Lake 5.5; 10. Park 3.
Ponies start fast at Forest Hills Invite
FOREST LAKE – A strong start paid dividends for the Stillwater boys’ golf team on Saturday after the Forest Hills Invitational was shortened to nine holes because of lightning.
Rather than using total strokes, the scores were tabulated according to their relation to par and the Ponies finished 4-over to prevail in the 10-team event, according to Ponies coach John Scanlon. Forest Lake was the next closest team at 12-over.
"We play in all kinds of weather conditions, but lightning is not something the tournament directors mess with," Ponies coach John Scanlon said.
Playing the front nine at Forest Hills Golf Club, freshman Sammy Sicard carded a 2-under 34 to lead the Ponies, who were competing without three senior regulars because of prom. Lars Lillehei finished at even par while Jeff Carstens and Graham Krumpelmann finished at 2-over and 4-over.
"It was great to see Sammy break through with a low round," Scanlon said. "He could be one of the best players ever to come out of this area."
Will Henschell and Evan Anderson were each 8-over for the Ponies after nine holes.
Sammy Sicard -2, Lars Lillehei even, Jeff Carstens +2, Graham Krumpelmann +4, Will Henschell +8 and Evan Anderson +8.