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Titan golfers secure State berth with second place finish at Regions

Brady Sabers, Harper Schnabel, Derek Andersen, Keeton Newborg, and Quentin Maag pose with head coach Brock Murphy, after earning Region 2A runner-up honors.

Tea Area High School’s golf team clinched the coveted second-place finish at the Region 2A Golf Meet held Monday, Sept. 25, earning them a spot in the upcoming state tournament.

Helping the Titans claim second place was Derek Andersen who won individual honors, shooting 2 under on the day with a 70. Anderson shot a 33 on the front nine and a 37 on the back, securing his win with six birdies on the day.

Titan Head Coach Brock Murphy was thrilled with Anderesen’s success.

“Derek played awesome all day,” said Murphy. “Derek has come a long way in his golf game not just physically with his swing, but mentally with his golf game. He has been able to get his way around the golf course so effectively that it has proven why he is the best player in our region but also why he has shown so much improvement this year.”

In a regional tournament where the top three teams qualify for the state championship, Tea Area High School secured their spot with a team total of 312, narrowly finishing second behind the Dakota Valley team, who carded a 308. Vermillion took the third spot with a total of 318.

Along with Andersen, Keeton Newborg, Harper Schnabel, Brady Sabers and Quentin Maag also had strong performances on the day, all finishing in the top 25.

Newborg took fourth with his score of 76. He shot a 38 on the front nine and a 38 on the back. He had one birdie on the day. Schnabel finished with an 80 (40, 40) to take 12th. He also had a birdie on the day. Sabers finished the day with an 86, shooting a 40 and a 46, to take 22nd and Maag shot an 86 (44 and a 42) to finish in 21st place. He also had a birdie.

“The team played solid today, I was happy with the way they have played all year,” Murphy said. “The one thing we have been constantly focusing on is trying to avoid those doubles or triples in rounds. They can be round killers, but also not three putting or double chipping. Those are things we have stressed so much, and we did a pretty good job of it.”

Despite the pressure of the moment, Murphy was overall pleased with his players. “I think the moment got a little much for them, and we kind of panicked at times on the course, but I was overall happy with the guys. They put a ton of work in last week, and it proved today.”

Looking ahead to the state tournament, Murphy and his team have high expectations. They are determined to bring home the championship and believe their best round is yet to come.

“I think the whole team can agree, if we don’t come back as champions, we would be frustrated,” Murphy said. “This team is so talented in so many ways, and we still feel like our best round is to come. These guys want it all, and it will be tough to beat Dakota Valley, but I believe in our boys so much that I firmly believe we can do it. I will tell you that we are not driving five hours across the state to play for second place. Plain and simple.”

The Titan golf team will represent their school and community at the 2023 State A Golf Tournament scheduled for Oct. 2 and 3 at Hart Ranch in Rapid City. Play will begin at 9 a.m. on both Monday and Tuesday morning. The tournament will be a two-day, 36-hole event. Each contestant is scheduled to play 18 holes each Monday and Tuesday. The Individual Championship places will be determined by individual, two-day combined scores. The Team Championship places will be determined based on the four, low aggregate score for each round of play that is completed. Only schools that have qualified a minimum of four athletes for the State Meet as a team will be eligible or Team Championship placing.

The State Tournament will feature live scoring through the Golf Genius online scoring service. The GGID is 23SDBOYSA


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