BY RANDY HOWE
(May 31) The Royals captured the Section 5AAA crown at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids by shooting a solid 299 to sneak past Mounds View at 304.
"I was proud of the boys as always," said Rogers coach Dan Bursheim. "Each team takes the personality from the previous year and adds their own touch to our program. This bunch is led by some seniors that have put years of effort, emotion and dedication into their golf games."
Senior Corey Muenzhuber led Rogers with a 1-under-par 71. He bogeyed the par-5 second hole (West Course), and then put together a par streak that was only interrupted by birdies on both par-5s on the back nine East.
Muenzhuber finished second behind 2-under-par 70s from co-medalists Dalton Charboneau and Dayton Federly, both of Osseo.
Tied at third were Jordan Rykal and Nick Aumen of Spring Lake Park at 73.
"Jordan had a more adventurous 1-over-par 73 with four birdies, three bogies and one double [bogey]," Bursheim said. "He struggled with the driver, hitting only four fairways, but used some great creativity to get himself back into play. The key for him was to put the driver in the bag and use his strength and 3-hybrid to navigate the rest of the round."
Junior Morgan Rask had what he described as a "pretty boring round," shooting a 76. He had four bogeys, two of which were three-putt holes.
And despite some bad breaks, senior Zach Hnath kept his head in the game, finishing at 79. He was rewarded with a near hole-in-one on the 16th hole, settling for a tap-in birdie instead. On his final hole, the East’s ninth hole, he carried the pond with a 271-yard drive, and then drained a 40-foot putt.
"To see them reach their goal of getting to the state tournament is very rewarding," Bursheim said. "They have prepared for it by playing a very tough schedule and are comfortable playing in competitive battles. I think they handled it very well today and see the next week of working with them as a real gift."
Also for Rogers, junior Kyle Korva shot 82 and senior Andy Suedbeck shot 86.
"Those scores would have been used in the tiebreaker, if needed, and both would have had the advantage over the No. 5 and 6 players on the next closest teams," Bursheim said.
Next for Rogers is the Class 3A state tournament, scheduled to be played at Bunker Hills Tuesday, June 12, and Wednesday, June 13.
The Royals are the defending co-champions with Wayzata.