After going back and forth with the rest of the field throughout the Class 2A boys golf state tournament, St. Croix Lutheran freshman Sam Udovich ended the 36-hole competition with an exclamation point Wednesday at the Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan. He birdied the final hole to finish with an aggregate score of 2-under 142.
That was enough to earn Udovich the state title, with Southwest Christian junior Jacob Ferrin finishing a couple of strokes behind in second place.
“I’m just really happy right now,” Udovich said. “I was pretty confident heading into the state tournament. I’ve been putting a lot of work in, and it’s starting to pay off.”
While he was thrilled to make birdie on the final hole Wednesday, Udovich actually made eagle on the final hole in Tuesday’s opening round. What was different this time around?
“I hit all my shots pretty good today,” Udovich said. “The green has a huge slope on it and my second shot actually stayed on top of it. If it was a couple of feet closer, it would’ve been a pretty close putt for eagle.”
Instead, Udovich ended up about 35 feet away from the hole. After an initial putt he wasn’t necessarily thrilled with, he nailed a 10-footer for birdie to close out the competition.
“That felt really good,” he said. “It was nice to have a little extra cushion there.”
Maybe the most impressive thing about Udovich’s performance, aside from his five birdies, was the way he consistently responded to adversity throughout the final round. He tallied four bogeys and still had enough mental toughness to fend off his closest competitors.
In the team competition, Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa won with an aggregate score of 616. Holy Family Catholic was second at 620, and Roseau was third at 634.
As for Udovich, he’s hopeful this win is the start of something great this summer.
“I’m glad I got the win,” he said. “I feel like it brings a lot of momentum heading into a lot of tournaments I have coming up.”