JORDAN — The boys state tournament’s void of a Delano golfer lasted just one season. Sophomore James Ylitalo put an end to the mini-draught Tuesday morning, when he teed off on No. 1 at Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Course for the Class AA tournament.
Playing in a drizzling rain from start to finish on that first day, Ylitalo survived two double-bogeys on the front nine and finished with a respectivle 79. That put Ylitalo in 25th place after 18 holes.
The rain subsided Wednesday for the second round, and Ylitalo’s game perked with the weather. He shot a 1-over-par 73.
That solid second round gave Ylitalo 152 strokes, and, more impressively, moved him up the leaderboard 19 positions, to seventh place.
“I was happy with how I played Tuesday, considering the conditions,” Ylitalo said. “I’m glad I finished with a good score to finish the tournament. I thought I played solid the whole tournament.”
Ylitalo’s 152 was the fifth-best score. He took seventh place because three golfers shot 149.
“I was glad I could make it to state and play well,” he said.”It was a very fun experience to play at the state tournament.”
With the 73, Ylitalo was a top-four golfer on the second day, finishing with the likes of Red Wing’s Cecil Belisle, Hill-Murray’s Ben Warian and New Ulm’s Glavin Schugel.
Not bad company, considering these three all finished in the top four in the final standing.
Belisle won the state championship with a two-day 143. He shot a 74 on the first day, and was awesome with a 3-under-par 69 on the second day.
Warion finished second with 145 strokes (73-72). Schugel (77-72), Holy Family’s Blake Stedronsky (75-74) and St. Peter’s Carter Doose (74-74) all finished with 148 strokes.
Ylitalo seems to belong near the top of the leader board. He entered the state tournament as the Section 5AA champion.
The Section 5AA team champion was Holy Family. The Fire, which will move up to Class AAA next season, finished their run in Class AA with the state title Tuesday.
Holy Family’s 620 strokes (310-310) were 20 strokes better than second-place Detroit Lakes’ 640 (317-323).
Colquet finished one stroke behind Detroit Lakes, in third place with 641 strokes (325-316).
Rounding out the team finishes were Red Wing (331-322-653), Blue Earth Area (329-325-654), Hill Murray (325-333-658), St. Cloud Cathedral (336-340-676) and Jackson County (345-339-684).