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The 2021 Princeton boys golf team was able to win the Mississippi 8. (Left to right) Luke Dufner, Brennan Berglund, Lucas Ostlund, Noah Temp, Michael Angstman and Jacob Patnode led the team to a conference title for the first time since 2007.  

The Princeton boys golf team hadn’t won a conference title since 2007. That 14 year streak was snapped Monday night as the Tigers were able to wrap up the Mississippi 8 crown at the Princeton Golf Course, winning another meet against competition from the conference.

“It was really exciting for the kids. It was a goal that they had and it was fun to see them come through with that,” said Tigers’ Head Coach Derek Hasselberg on the accomplishment made by the team.

Princeton secured the title by shooting a 322 for its round score on the team’s home course, just barely edging Becker by two strokes for the top spot in the meet.

Leading the Tigers in their final regular season meet of the year was Lucas Ostlund and Brennan Berglund, who each shot rounds of 79, placing the pair in fifth and sixth place, respectively.

Luke Dufner was also able to secure a top 10 finish in the meet with 81 strokes on his afternoon golfing.

Winning the meet was a golfer from Becker, as Zach Stanz shot solid 73, placing him first going into the clubhouse.

Five Tigers claim all-conference

Princeton wrapped up the Mississippi 8 title by shooting a total score of 2183, handily beating out second place Monticello by 152 strokes. With the top finish, several Tiger claimed spots on the all-conference team.

Placing first overall in the conference meets, was Princeton’s Noah Temp, with the junior totaling 452 for his scoring rounds. Temp was joined by Jacob Patnode, Michael Angstman, Ostlund, and Dufner as the five golfers to receive all-conference honors as all finished in the top 12 for conference standings.

Barely missing out on a sixth golfer to make the all-conference team, Brennan Berglund fell short by just four shots.

Princeton prepares

With the regular season behind the Tigers, all the focus now can be put on the postseason for the team.

As the section meet sits over a week away, Hasselberg looks to ready the team for a push to claim the top spot in sections. “The next step here is to get ready. We have a week and a half to get ready and focus on sections,” he said.

Combined with the practice time, is the chance to get familiar with the course the section meet will be held on.

Hasselberg said the team will go play at Grand National Golf Club in Hinckley a few times between now and the start of the section meet. “We will go play Grand National twice before sections. I want to get the kids and comfortable and confident on the golf course as they can be.”

Coming into the meet, Princeton knows what team they will have to get past if they hope to claim the top spot at the section meet and advance to the state meet as a team. “Elk River is the team to beat, they are the favorite,” said Hasselberg.

In order to get past the Elks, the Tigers have to all click at once. Previous meets saw different Tigers take the lead and play at the top of their games to pace Princeton while some left room for improvement.

Hasselberg looks for each golfer to play at the height of their ability at the same time during sections. “We need to get all our guys performing well on the same day. Each player has kind of taken a turn to be a leader and bring that low score in. For us to be successful, we need to have four guys to have it going on the same day and not just on the same day, the same two days because sections is a 36-hole tournament,” said Hasselberg.

Regardless of how sections end for the Tigers, Hasselberg and the team just hopes to be happy with the performances they turn in. “We can only control ourselves, we can’t control what anybody else does. At the end of the day, if we feel like we did the best we could do, that’s all we can ask for,” said Hasselberg.

Princeton now is making preparations for the two-day section meet as the event is scheduled to start on June 3.

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