It's tough to win a State Title. Often, the margins are razor thin, you might need a lucky break here, or a good bounce there--unless you're Blooming Prairie's Tommy Braaten, who won the Class A State golf tournament by 10 strokes.
"Individually, yeah, that was my goal. To win the state championship. It has been my goal for probably three years, so, to accomplish it... it feels really good," Braaten said.
Enroute to the state title, Braaten fired a school 18-hole record 68 on day one of the State Tournament. On the biggest stage, his game delivered.
"Everything really was clicking, my putter especially. It got hot in the first round, early especially, so I kind of built up a lead there. And there, when you have a cushion like that, it's more on cruise control at that point. You just try not to make many mistakes and hope they -- the other players-- have to come and catch you."
Braaten's biggest strength isn't a booming drive or deft wedge play, but, rather, of the cerebral variety.
"My strength I think is my course management. Just being able to think my way through the course because I don't hit it the farthest. And, also, I think my competitiveness. When it gets down to it, and I'm not playing well... when I need to hit a shot, I hit the shot. Or when I need to make a putt, I make the putt."
Next fall, Braaten will attend the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs where he will take part in their professional golf management program and hopes to one day become a head pro at a golf course.
Blooming Prairie's Tommy Braaten, on the heels of his 10-stroke win at the State Golf Tournament, is your KTTC NewsCenter Athlete of the Week.