MANLY — There are few kids in the North Iowa area who have had as good of a week as Ben Boerjan has.
The St. Ansgar senior played an integral part in the Saints’ Top of Iowa Conference East Division championship last Thursday, and on Monday in the TIC East golf tournament, Boerjan finally captured the conference title that has eluded him for the past few years.
Osage wound up as the team champion as it won a tiebreaker with St. Ansgar after each shot 339.
“The last two years I’ve been really close and it’s really cool to finally golf well enough to get it done,” Boerjan said.
Two years ago Boerjan fell in a playoff to Nashua-Plainfield’s Devin Koob and last year he shot 81 to finish fourth. On Boerjan’s first nine holes Monday, he could tell this year had the potential to be different.
Boerjan opened his round with a 36 through nine holes, setting himself up nicely for his first conference title. However, the second nine didn’t go as well.
“The first round I was playing really well. I was hitting everything well,” Boerjan said. “The second time around I was hitting some bad shots, but you’ve just got to recover.”
Hot on his heels the whole afternoon were Newman Catholic’s Austin Eckenrod and Osage’s Drew Olson, all of whom happened to be playing in the same group.
By day’s end, it was Boerjan who was able to hold on with a 78 (36-42).
“We say we’re having fun but it’s intense,” Olson said. “Austin, we’re cousins and so everything is about who gets the family rights for the next year or so, and Ben, we’ve been friends for a long time so it was good to see him win.”
Eckenrod finished as runner-up medalist with a 79 and Olson shot 80, which helped the Green Devils to their conference title in the team race.
Olson had his chance to win am individual conference title but a triple bogey on the eighth hole which saw him splash down in the water hazard twice proved the difference.
“I take a bogey there and I’m playing in a playoff hole, but it’s all right,” he said.
David Curha also grabbed all-conference honors with an 82, Isaac Oberfoell shot 87 and Noah Krabbe added a 90. It was Ben Grimm’s 91, though, that wound up being the clincher.
To break the tie between Osage and St. Ansgar, the title went to Osage based on the fifth golfer’s score.
“We’re pretty balanced throughout,” Olson said. “We could have a guy shoot 100 today and tomorrow they might shoot 84 or something like that.
“We’re just a bunch of guys who just like to have fun and golf. (Coach Eric) Goddard would agree that we’re a different group. We like to have fun and golf is just along the way.”
In addition to Boerjan’s 78, Garrett Koster shot 85 and Dylan Low and Collin Kramer each shot 88.
“A lot of people didn’t think we’d have it this year so it’s really cool to come over and shoot a good score,” Boerjan said.
Newman Catholic finished third with a 344. After Eckenrod’s 79, Jase Curley shot 86, Ryan Fischer had a 90 and Ryan Curley shot 92.