Minnesota Golf Association

Holy Family Boys, Belisle Winners Again at Class AA Tournament

June 12, 2019

By Nick Hunter
  JORDAN, Minn. – For Red Wing senior Cecil Belisle, the start to his final Minnesota State High School Class AA appearance Tuesday certainly didn’t go according to plan. Belisle hit two shots out of bounds on the very first tee, leading to a quadruple-bogey. The 2017 Class AA individual medalist bounced back to finish his opening round at 2-over 74, two shots off the lead.
During the final round Wednesday, Belisle birdied the opening hole and rallied to shoot the tournament’s only score below par, a 3-under par 69 to finish the 36-hole championship at 1-under 143, edging Hill-Murray junior Ben Warian by two shots to claim his second individual title in three seasons.
With his victory Wednesday, Belisle becomes only the 12th player to win multiple individual titles since the boys' tournament began in 1928. Claiming his first victory as a sophomore, a disappointed Belisle left last year’s championship after a third-place finish with one goal in mind: to claim another individual title during his final season.
“This was my main goal when I left here last year and it means the world to me,” Belisle said Wednesday. “My family, friends and girlfriend said it best—to go out and enjoy my last high school match and not to take anything for granted. To enjoy even the adversity out there and go out, work hard and to play my game. I did that and it happened.”
Starting on the 10th hole once again Wednesday, Belisle birdied his opening hole before giving a stroke back with a bogey at the par-4 12th. Sinking his birdie look at the 14th, Belisle turned at 1-over par for the championship and in a three-way tie for the lead.
“I was pretty consistent early on and frustrated I didn’t make birdie on [No. 18], but I felt good and made a lot of clutch putts that I needed to make,” he said.
Collecting a pair of birdies early on his back nine, Belisle jumped into the lead before a three-putt bogey at the sixth dropped him to even par for the tournament. He two-putted for birdie at the seventh and with an up-and-down for par on the final hole, Belisle captured his second individual title with a round of 69.
Moving on to play collegiate golf at Minnesota State University, Mankato this fall, Belisle said he plans on bringing a high level of play to the next stage.
“Expectations are going to be high,” he said. “We want to keep expectations realistic, but we also want them to be high so I never lose that integrity, that work ethic, that grit and grind. I need that if I’m going to go to the PGA Tour.”
Warian, who began Wednesday’s final round one shot off the lead, posted a second solid score in challenging conditions to finish alone in second place at 1-over 145, two shots back of Belisle.
“It was a fun couple of days. I didn’t feel like I had my A-game all week and I felt like I had to grind and scrap out rounds and numbers and was proud of the way I fought,” Warian said. “I know that without my best I can still compete. I was lucky enough to play with [Belisle] yesterday and got to see what he looks like when he’s on his game.
“I felt like he was playing a lot better than me, but I was sticking with him. I gained a lot of confidence because I feel like I can compete with the best without my best stuff.”
Entering the final round Wednesday with a seven-stroke lead over Detroit Lakes, the defending champion from Holy Family High School posted a round of 310 for the second straight day to cruise to a 20-stroke victory, becoming the fifth team to successfully repeat since 2008.
“I thought today was going to be easier with the weather, but the wind and hardness of the greens made it really tough on our kids. They played really well, had some hiccups, but overall I’m really pleased,” Holy Family head coach Rob Nelson said Wednesday. “There was never one person that really stood out this week. Blake [Stedronsky] has always been a good leader and Sam [McNulty] has been a good leader. Some of the other guys do a good job of sticking it out and they’re finally a team.”
Nelson earned his first state victory in 43 years of coaching when the Fire captured the school’s first state tournament win last season.
“We’ve never had two state championships at our school, which is really big. This one was a little bit easier because there was a bigger cushion between first and second. Last year it was right down to the last player who eagled the last hole and we won,” Nelson said. “Last year was tense and our seniors were tense. We were more relaxed this year than I’ve seen.”
Junior Blake Stedronsky led the way for the second straight round as the Fire ran away from the field during the final round Stedronsky fired a final-round 74 to finish in a tie for fourth at 5-over 149. Fellow junior McNulty finished tied for 23rd at 158, while sophomore Charlie Lindberg carded a 3-over 75 Wednesday to finish tied for 29th at 160.
6,363 YARDS, PAR 72
1. Holy Family, 310-310—620
2. Detroit Lakes, 317-323—640
3. Cloquet-Esko, 325-316—641
4. Red Wing, 331-322—653
5. Blue Earth Area, 329-325—654
6. Hill-Murray, 325-333—658
7. St. Cloud Cathedral, 336-340—676
8. Jackson County Central, 345-339—684
1. Cecil Belisle, Red Wing, 74-69—143
2. Ben Warian, Hill-Murray, 73-72—145
3. Carter Doose, St. Peter, 74-74—148
T4. Blake Stedronsky, Holy Family, 75-74—149  
T4. Glavine Schugel, New Ulm, 77-72—149
T4. Thomas Gutzmer, Jordan, 74-75—149
7. James Ylitalo, Delano, 79-73—152
T8. Gavin Best, Blake, 78-75—153
T8. Andrew Hoppe, Maple River, 76-77—153  
T8. Hunter Burnside, Detroit Lakes, 73-80—153
For complete tournament results go to:  www.iwanamaker.com/leaderboard/view/5445362

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