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Hudson golfers chasing River Falls for BRC title

Ben Lewis, shown in a photo taken earlier in the season, leads the BRC individual point standings. Bob Burrows photo

The Raider boys' golf team continued Big Rivers Conference play last Tuesday, May 8, with a 9-hole match at Lake Hallie Golf Club in Eau Claire, a course the team had never played before.

Hudson battled BRC leader River Falls right down to the last group and was leading the Wildcats by four strokes until River Falls' last player came in with an even-par 36 to secure a two-stroke lead over the Raiders.

River Falls took first with a team score of 152 while Hudson was second with 154.

The Wildcats increased their conference lead to four points over Hudson and 11 points over Eau Claire Memorial, who finished third at Lake Hallie with a score of 156.

Raider senior Ben Lewis maintained his lead in the conference individual point standings, earned medalist honors with a 1-under-par 35 while Brody Belland was right behind with a 38 and Pat Bowers had a 39. David Kein finished the team scoring with a 42.

"I thought we had a win today but it just didn't happen," Raider coach Bill Schaub said, noting Belland has moved to the No. 6 spot in the individual point standings while Bowers is in 10th place.

Last Thursday the Raiders went up against 21 other teams at the Rice lake Invitational at Turtleback Golf Course and posted an 18-hole team score of 319 to finish in third place, two strokes behind Osceola. River Falls took first with a season-low score of 299.

Lewis led the Raiders with a round of 78 while Kein continued his strong play with a 79. Belland finished with an 80 and Bowers scored an 82 to round out the Raiders' total.

"We continue to improve in these 18-hole matches," Schaub said. "Still, several big numbers continue to hurt our chances. The boys continue working on their consistency during these five hour, 18-hole matches. The players sometimes lose focus and put up a big number on one or two holes that has been causing the higher team scores."

Friday the Raiders played an 18-hole dual match against Tartan (Minn.) at Troy Burne Golf Course. Tartan had won the season-opening Hudson Invitational at Troy Burne back in early April so the Raiders were looking for some revenge.

Hudson did just that by beating Tartan with a season best score of 309. Tartan shot 325. Lewis again led the team with a score of 75 followed close behind by freshman Mitch Simonet at 76.

"Mitch had a double bogey on the final hole, otherwise he would have had a great score," Schaub said.

Bowers carded his best score of the year with a 77, and Belland came in with an 80 while Kein had an 8 on a par-3 hole but still shot 81.

"Kein was playing well up to that point, but one hole got him," Schaub said. "Jordan DeLao finished at 84 with a 7 on the same par-3 as Kein. It was a strange site to see."

Schaub said the season-low team score of 309 was good to see.

"It was great to see the boys put it together today," he said. "We have been waiting for this type of score all year. I hope this is the beginning of good things to come."

The Raiders played their final 9-hole BRC match this past Tuesday at Chippewa Valley Golf Club in Menomonie and will compete in the 18-hole conference tournament Thursday, May 17, at Lake Wissota Golf Course in Chippewa Falls.

"We need to win both of these matches to have a chance at the title over River Falls," Schaub said. "It will be quite a challenge the way River Falls is playing right now."