Wayzata's Van Holmgren won the Class 3A boys individual title with a 143 score. He was congratulated by assistant coach Joe Hanon. (Richard Tsong-Taatarii - Star Tribune)
Van Holmgren, all 6-8 of him, held the Class 3A golf team state championship trophy with both hands, high above smiling Wayzata teammates.
A pair of first-place medals attached to blue ribbons hung around Holmgren’s neck, indicators of an extra special day.
Holmgren led the Trojans to the team title and also won the individual crown on Wednesday at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids.
Wayzata (591) edged defending state champion Minnetonka by two strokes. Holmgren bested a tight field in which just three shots separated the top 10 finishers. Holmgren’s 143 was one stroke better than defending champion Ben Sigel of Minnetonka and Mankato East sophomore Carson Haley.
As Holmgren finished his day, Wayzata coach Allan Christopherson greeted him with a double-shot of amazing news.
“I almost just dropped because I had no idea,” Holmgren said.
The emotional reaction belied Holmgren’s steady demeanor on the course. He said he started slow, carding three bogeys and two birdies on the East Course.
A birdie on the 11th hole gave him momentum on the back nine. He added another birdie on No. 14 and closed out the round with four consecutive pars. The success, he said, was reminiscent of his four-birdie charge down the stretch in the section final.
“I felt like nothing could stop me and that’s how I felt on the back nine here,” Holmgren said.
Standing just 5-7 when he began playing varsity golf in seventh grade, Holmgren grew more than a foot. His game matured as well, culminating with two state titles.
“Being able to celebrate with five of your closest friends is a much better feeling,” Holmgren said.
Minnetonka led Wayzata by four shots after the first day. But seniors Ben Frazzini, Ian Mackenzie Olson and Peder Larson mounted a comeback.
“We’re always going to fight to the end,” Frazzini said. “We grind out every single round we can.”