Boys state golf: Edina’s Torger Ohe gains inspiration from Minnetonka grad en route to 3A state title

By | June 13, 2024

Boys state golf: Edina’s Torger Ohe gains inspiration from Minnetonka grad en route to 3A state title

Edina junior Torger Ohe wasn’t playing his best golf entering the state tournament. He barely reached this stage, having to knock in a 12-foot putt at sections to avoid a playoff for a state berth.

Confidence wasn’t high.

But Ohe drew inspiration from Minnetonka grad Gunnar Broin, who will tee it up in the U.S. Open on Thursday. Broin recently said in an interview that he wasn’t playing well heading into his U.S. Open qualifier, only to go onto qualify for the major championship.

“He kind of stuck to his process and played well and with a lot of confidence,” Ohe said.

So that’s the approach Ohe tried to take into this week. He and his coach went through what the junior called “a really good process” this week. The end result was a state title.

Ohe slept on the lead Tuesday night, then fired a 4-under 68 in the final round Wednesday at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids to secure the boys Class 3A crown.

“It feels great. Obviously, really grateful to be in this position,” Ohe said. “Really happy to be able to play as well as I did. I had kind of been struggling a bit coming into this event. Just really happy with the way I handled myself.”

He finished three shots better than Centennial sophomore Cooper Daikawa, who shot a 3-under round of 69 on Wednesday. His putter betrayed him, but Daikawa put on a ball-striking exhibition on the final nine holes.

Daikawa said his performance “definitely brings my confidence up a whole lot.”

“I didn’t expect to play like this, but playing like this against the really good, top guys in the state definitely helps a lot,” said Daikawa, who was pleasantly surprised with both his score and leaderboard position. “Coming into state, I felt really good. My game felt good. I felt like I was hitting it really well, and just kept it that way and stayed positive about all of my shots. Didn’t get down and kept going.”

Entering the day, Cretin-Derham Hall junior Sam Udovich was in second place, just one shot back of Ohe. Udovich was stuck in neutral for most of the final round, but birdied two of his final three holes to get to level par for the day and finish 4-under for the tournament.

That was good for a tie for third, alongside Mahtomedi junior Jacob Wilson.

Defending champion Jake Birdwell, a Spring Lake Park senior, shot a 69 Wednesday to finish 1-under for the week, good for a tie for fifth alongside his brother, Chase Birdwell. The freshman shot a 68.

Wilson’s tie for third was a massive improvement over his previous state finishes. He credited the ability to walk alongside coach Jeff Poeschl throughout the round and talk through shots for keeping his focus on the course.

Perhaps his trickiest shot of the day came on No. 18, when he had to get up and down from the rough on a chip that had to travel over a bunker. Wilson hit it just over the bunker and landed it in the rough, which decelerated the ball enough to where it didn’t fly down the downslope, and instead nestled into tap-in range to save par.

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