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Minnetonka's Chris Winge helped his team with the Tri-State Invitational tournament at Edinburgh USA golf course in Brooklyn Park on April 27. Photo: NICOLA LOSIK * nicola.losik@startribune.com

Minnetonka won the boys’ Tri-State Invitational golf tournament Saturday with a score of 604 after two rounds of 302 at Edinburgh USA golf club. Chris Captain of Rochester Century was the medalist with rounds of 71 and 68 for a 5-under-par 139.

It was the first tournament of the year for virtually all competitors, deviating from its usual spot midway through the spring tournament calendar. The persistent winter made the course unplayable and, as late as Wednesday this past week, a tournament official said he was unsure the invitational would be held.

“It was hard to get practice in,” Minnetonka’s Jacques Wilson said. “We came out here not really knowing how the ball was going to react off the club. We got enough indoor practice, but you can’t really compare it to out here.” Wilson, who carded a 2-under-par 70 Saturday to pace the Skippers, said he didn’t expect the course would be dry given how long the snow stuck around this year.

But golfers were rewarded for their patience, with temperatures tickling 80 degrees Saturday afternoon. Tournament director Allan Christopherson said it was the best weather he’d ever seen at the Tri-State tournament. “After the spring we’ve had, this is like stealing,” one coach told Christopherson.

The late start to the season bumped up scores, especially on Day One, golfers said.

Minnetonka led after the first day with its 302, and matched that mark Saturday, pulling away from second-place Wayzata.

The Skippers’ Chris Winge tied for the lead Friday when he and Captain both carded 1-under-par 71s. Captain also had the best Day Two score, a 4-under-par 68.

Captain said he golfed in Arizona over spring break and got a relatively early jump on some of the other golfers.

“[Our home] course opened up two weeks ago, so we’ve got a couple nine-hole [rounds] in,” Captain said. “It’ll be a little bit shorter season for us, but we’re gearing up for conference [play] and sections.”

Twenty teams, and 16 individuals, from Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin competed in the Tri-State Invitational.

 

Derek Wetmore is a University of Minnesota student reporter on assignment for the Star Tribune.

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