Tribune Notebook: Former MACCRAY star turns pro

Sep. 13—RAYMOND — With an excellent college career in the rear-view mirror, Brady Madsen has decided to make the next step.

The former Winona State All-American and Florida Gulf Coast University golfer is turning pro.

"It should be a fun journey," Madsen said.

There was an open house celebrating Madsen's decision Sunday at Hawk Creek Golf Club, his home course.

The hard-working kid from MACCRAY is hoping his small-town work ethic, good mental makeup and his excellent health can turn into a lucrative pro career.

Madsen, who finished runner-up in the state Class A boys golf tournament in 2016, is moving to Arizona with the goal of qualifying for the Golden State Tour in October.

"Fortunately, I have 6-to-10 former college teammates and a good 5-to-8 others that I know there (in Arizona)," he said. "I'll be able to play and practice every day."

The Arizona move comes after recently coming two strokes short of earning a spot on the Korn Ferry Tour in Alabama.

He said he is giving himself a "3-to-5-year" window to play the low-paying mini tours to see if he can someday earn a PGA Tour card. That's where the big money is.

"Korn Ferry is kind of like Triple-A," he said.

Playing in Arizona and California on the Golden State Tour will hone his game so that he can try qualifying for the Canadian Q-School Tour in February. It's one four-day event, so the pressure will be on to do well. That'll give him a full spring and summer of pro events to play in 2023.

"For me, I feel like it's going to be a little different from playing in college," Madsen said. "Obviously, I'm not going to be going to class and doing school work.

"I can give it full-time effort and focus on it."

In four seasons at Winona State, he was named a Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-American Scholar and earned Ping All-America Third Team and All-Region honors. His average round was 73.17 his senior year. He also won the 2019 Minnesota State Open championship.

The corona virus pandemic enabled him to get another year of college eligibility and he made the most of it. He transferred to Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, an NCAA Division I school. It enabled him to practice and play year round in a much more competitive environment. His average round was 73.22 with a team full of good players.

"We ended up being a top-50 program in the country," Madsen said. "I was coming off a really good year in Winona."

He said he altered his swing and his approach a bit on his own.

"It's not like playing by yourself everyday. It's really good competition, really good. You play really good guys."

Madsen said adjusting to Bermuda grass, which is used in Florida in the winter, was an adjustment. He said it was very different than the grass seed used in Minnesota.

"It's probably the biggest thing I had to learn," he said.

As he goes full-bore into pro golf, he does have a backup plan. He has a bachelor's degree in business management and administration. A business career, for now, is on the backburner.

Willmar Cardinal senior Joey Wisocki took first place at the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour tournament on Sunday.

Wisocki had rounds of 75 and 70 to finish with a 1-over-par 145 in the Minneapolis Fall Junior Open played at Boulder Pointe Golf Club in Elko.

Wisocki edged second-place finisher Tyler Wanous of Eagan by two strokes. Blake Steensland of Edina took third with a 155.

Markee Blahosky shot an 88 to win the women's championship of the 2022 Valley Golf Club Tournament on Saturday in Willmar.

Blahosky beat Lisa Bjerke, who shot a 94, and Becky Armstrong, who had a 96 of the 16 participants in the women's tournament.

The men's club tournament attracted 52 participants Saturday and Sunday. The club champion is Troy Pederson who played five nine-hole rounds for a total of 185. Pederson shot 34-41-37-35-38.

Taking second with a 189 was Joe Kuehn. Third place went to Justin Lane Kleist with a 193 and Josh Bernhagen was fourth with a 194.

Jeff Nagel won the president's flight title with rounds of 39-39-41 for a 119. Adam Herman was second (121) and Shannon Severson and Kylee Running tied for third with 127s.

The first flight champion was Mark Herman. Brandon Imes was second, Greg Stegeman was third and Ron VanSlooten won consolation.

The second flight title went to Mike Erickson. He was followed by Rick Clouse and Jordan Steffer. Bill Friday won consolation.

The third flight champion is Ken Mattonen. Gene VandenEinde was second. Dave Gort took third and Jackson Olson won consolation.

Nagel won the senior men's club championship Sept. 8-9 with rounds of 39-39-35 for a 113. Gary Manzer, Daryl Pederson and Don Twedt tied for second with 121s.

First flight champion was Kent Larson, followed by Bill Friday in second, Dan Reigstad in third and George Christensen, who won the consolation championship.

The second flight champion was Bill Severtson. Lowell Myers was second, followed by Dave Gort in third. Gary Hartman won the consolation championship.