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Park senior Alex Holland rips a drive during the second round of the state tournament on June 11 at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids. (Bulletin photo by Jace Frederick)

Holland ends career at state

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Park senior Alex Holland said last week’s state tournament was like no other tournament he’d ever competed in before.

“With all the people there and the galleries, it just had a different feel to it,” he said. “Everybody was really serious and it was fun.”

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About 15 people consistently followed Holland’s group on the second day of the tournament at Bunker Hills in Coon Rapids, with multiple others plotted around various parts of the course waiting to watch groups play through.

Still, the large crowds and state atmosphere didn’t affect Holland on the course.

“I think it might have just added a little nervousness on the first tee,” he said, “but after that I was fine.”

Holland posted a first-day 81 and followed it up with a 78 on the second day, good for a two-day score of 159 and a tie for 51st in the standings.

Holland said he was happy with his second-round play, sans back-to-back double bogeys in the final two holes, which kept him from achieving an even better score.

“I was playing really well in the middle of that round,” he said. “It was really nice to play well in that second day.”

Holland’s second round featured bogeys on two of the first three holes, but unlike some of his fellow competitors, he kept his emotions intact and kept his focus on the next hole to put together a mid-round surge. In past years, Holland might have unravelled after the rough start, but not this year, Park coach Chad Salay said.

“This year he’s really gotten it together and he’s kept the mental side of his game in check, so it’s been nice,” Salay said. “That’s what you want to see from your players is that maturity.”

Holland qualified for state for this first time in his career this season by winning the Section 3AAA title in early June.

“It was a big accomplishment for sure,” Salay said. “Just getting here, that was the goal before the year, so anything he did here was just extra.”

Holland was grateful to make the state tournament in his final crack at it. He said he would have been disappointed to never reach the state’s highest competition.

“To finally make it my senior year felt really good,” he said.

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