Area golfers set to tee off at state

FAIRMONT – Four area golfers will make return appearances, while two more will make their debuts during first-round state golf action Tuesday.

Fairmont senior Mitch Pfingsten and junior Emily Kim, along with Blue Earth Area sophomore Natali Fellows, will open two-day action in the Class AA state meet at Ridges @ Sand Creek in Jordan, while Martin County West siblings Cordell Weber and Logan Weber, along with Truman/Granada-Huntley-East Chain sophomore Michael Dallager, hit the fairways at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker in the Class A state event.

Ironically, Pfingsten will end his stellar four-sport prep athletic career where it all began as a seventh-grader – the tee box.

Pfingsten competed in the Class AA state golf meet as a member of the state-qualifying Cardinal boys team in both 2009 and 2010 before just missing the individual cut at sections in 2011.

The multi-tasking Pfingsten then traded his driver for an Easton bat and played an integral role in helping steer the Fairmont baseball team to a state appearance in 2012 and a sectional runner-up crown in 2013.

After moving from the batting cage back to the driving range this spring, Pfingsten won a playoff at the Section 3 Meet at Oakdale Golf Course in Buffalo Lake to earn a 1:21 p.m. state tee time off of No. 10 in Jordan on Tuesday.

“It’s a cool experience to be able to end my high school sports career at the state golf meet,” said Pfingsten, who squeezed in a practice round at Ridges @ Sand Creek on Friday.

“The course is a tale of two sides. Nos. 1, 2, 9, 10 and 18 are mainly on the top of hills, while the rest of the holes are down in valleys that are tight with trees,” said Pfingsten. “Those open holes are scoreable, but with the rest I’m going to take the driver out of my hands and play target golf in order to go low.”

While Pfingsten takes to the fairways Tuesday afternoon, Kim and Fellows hit the tee boxes during the morning session at Ridges @ Sand Creek.

Kim, who competed in the 2013 Class AA state meet as a member of the Cardinals’ qualifying team, carded an 18-hole round of 80 to capture sixth place overall at the Section 3 Meet at Oakdale Golf Club to merit her first individual state bid.

Kim, who fired a career-low 79 to capture top medalist honors at the sub-section meet, tees off state action on No. 1 at Ridges @ Sand Creek at 8:51 a.m. Tuesday.

Fellows, who won a playoff for the final state-qualifying spot at the Section 2 Meet at Ridges, returns to Jordan with an 8:24 a.m. tee time off of No. 10 on Tuesday.

Fellows, who earned runner-up medalist honors at the sub-section meet at North Links Golf Course in Mankato, will make her state golf debut.

In the Class A state meet, Cordell Weber returns to Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker on Tuesday for a fifth consecutive season.

“Cordell has played this course a few times, so I think he knows it pretty well by now,” said Martin County West mentor Jeff Ross.

The 2012 Class A state champion, who fired a 1-over 73 to capture the Section 2 crown at North Links in Mankato, will tee off of the White Course in Becker at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Cordell Weber, who also won the 2014 sub-section and Valley Conference titles, tied for a sixth-place medal at last year’s state competition. The future Colorado State University golfer also netted 12th place in the 2011 state event after taking 26th as an eighth-grader in 2010.

Dallager, who claimed seventh at the Section 2 Meet to garner his first state golf bid, will play the Red Course at Pebble Creek, starting with a 12:54 p.m. tee time.

Dallager fired an 86 at the sectional meet after carding a 93 during the sub-section meet at Rose Lake Golf Course in Fairmont.

While Dallager and Cordell Weber open Day 1 of the Class A state meet on Tuesday afternoon, Logan Weber will literally swing into action at 8:33 a.m. on the Red Course in Becker.

Logan Weber, who did not compete in the 2013 postseason due to an injury, makes her third individual state appearance. The Martin County West sophomore placed 28th in the 2012 Class A state meet after netting the 44th spot as a seventh-grader in 2011.

Logan Weber penciled in a 96 to finish fifth at this year’s Section 2 Meet at North Links after winning both the sub-section – an 85 at Rose Lake – and the Valley Conference crown – an 81 at Madelia Golf Course.

Tee times begin at 7:30 a.m. for both girls classes and noon for both boys classes on Wednesday.