The Junior 10-12 Division is shaping up to be an exciting final on Saturday after Will Hacker and Lunden Esterline pulled out semifinal victories.
On Friday morning, after a short rain delay, Hacker rolled to a 5-3 victory over Henry Moen, while Esterline needed two extra holes to take out Sam Horstman. Esterline, the top seed in the bracket, will go head-to-head with third-ranked Hacker for the top prize on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. from the 10th tee.
Here’s how they got there.
For the first time this week, Esterline was given a challenge from his opponent. Fourth-seeded Sam Horstman pushed Esterline to the brink and made him earn a sudden-death playoff victory.
Horstman made par on No. 10 to take an early one-hole lead before Esterline’s birdie on No. 11 evened the match. Esterline took a two-hole advantage with pars on Nos. 12 and 15 in what looked like the beginning of the end for Horstman.
With three holes left to play, Horstman made his push. He shot par on hole 16 to cut the lead in half before a clutch par on No. 18 sent the match into sudden death. On the 11th hole of the round, Esterline took home the victory and advanced to the finals.
While Esterline had to sweat out his win, Hacker breezed through the semifinals. He beat second-seeded Henry Moen 5-3 to advance.
Hacker made three-straight pars on Nos. 11, 12 and 13 before his par on No. 15 clinched the win. His final-four victory came on the heels of a thrilling quarterfinal matchup against Garrison Johnson when Hacker needed five extra holes to beat sixth-seeded Johnson on Wednesday.