Hard work pays off for Denfeld's Bowen

Shane Bowen's golf season didn't go the way he anticipated this spring, but a bad day golfing for the Duluth Denfeld senior is a good day golfing for just about anyone else.

Denfeld's Shane Bowen is hitting his stride entering the state golf tournament. (Submitted photo)

Shane Bowen's golf season didn't go the way he anticipated this spring, but a bad day golfing for the Duluth Denfeld senior is a good day golfing for just about anyone else.

"I was shooting pretty consistently around 80," Bowen said, "but I have high expectations for myself."

Bowen shook off his sub-standard performances by playing better at the section meet and becoming the first Hunter to qualify for the state golf tournament since Chris Stafne in 2006.

The Class AAA meet is today and Wednesday at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids, Minn.

"I'm hoping to get off to a great start, so hopefully I shoot well (today)," Bowen said.


Bowen missed qualifying for the state meet by a stroke last year. That wasn't the case this spring as he came in fourth in the Section 7AAA meet May 31 at Grand National Golf Club in Hinckley, Minn. Bowen shot a 6-over-par 76-74--150 to finish eight strokes behind defending state champion Max Kelly of Forest Lake at the 36-hole event.

Junior Dani DelGreco and senior Katie Sheetz of Grand Rapids also qualified for the state tournament by going second and fourth, respectively, at the girls section meet.

Bowen, who was previously at Duluth Central, has been golfing for seven years and has been a varsity golfer for four. He also played goalie in hockey. Bowen will attend Bemidji State next fall on a golf scholarship. He goes between 280 to 290 yards off the tee and has an excellent short game. If he continues to improve on his approach shots -- strong iron play -- Denfeld coach Dave Bergan is convinced he will do well at the next level.

"Shane has steadily improved his game each year, so I don't expect that to change in college," Bergan said. "He is the type of kid where, if you tell him to take a day off, you just about have to drag him off the golf course. He's always out there working on something, so if he continues with that work ethic, the sky's the limit for him. He's got a great heart and is a hard worker, so I expect him to get better through college and beyond."


Hermantown returns to the Class AA tournament today and Wednesday at the Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan, Minn., after finishing fifth at both the boys and girls state meets last season.

Leading the way for the Hermantown boys are seniors Taylor Sundbom and Andy Krasaway, who went 1-2 at the Section 7AA meet two weeks ago at Giants Ridge in Biwabik.

Sundbom was particularly impressive, shooting a 75-71--146 that included a double eagle as the Hawks surged past Virginia to claim the title.


The Hermantown girls, meanwhile, continue to get consistent play atop the leaderboard from seniors Olivia Tusa and Callie Wilson, who went 1-2 at the section meet as the Hawks rolled past runner-up International Falls by 58 strokes.

  • Northeast Range sophomore Sam Eisenhuth returns to the Class A meet today and Wednesday at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker, Minn., after tying for third at last year's state meet. Eisenhuth is one of five returning players from last year's Top 10.
  • Related Topics: GOLF
    Jon Nowacki joined the News Tribune in August 1998 as a sports reporter. He grew up in Stephen, Minnesota, in the northwest corner of the state, where he was actively involved in school and sports and was a proud member of the Tigers’ 1992 state championship nine-man football team.

    After graduating in 1993, Nowacki majored in print journalism at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, serving as editor of the college paper, “The Aquin,” and graduating with honors in December 1997. He worked with the Associated Press during the “tobacco trial” of 1998, leading to the industry’s historic $206 billion settlement, before moving to Duluth.

    Nowacki started as a prep reporter for the News Tribune before moving onto the college ranks, with an emphasis on Minnesota Duluth football, including coverage of the Bulldogs’ NCAA Division II championships in 2008 and 2010.

    Nowacki continues to focus on college sports while filling in as a backup on preps, especially at tournament time. He covers the Duluth Huskies baseball team and auto racing in the summer. When time allows, he also writes an offbeat and lighthearted food column entitled “The Taco Stand,” a reference to the “Taco Jon” nickname given to him by his older brother when he was a teenager that stuck with him through college. He has a teenage daughter, Emma.

    Nowacki can be reached at or (218) 380-7027. Follow him on Twitter @TacoJon1.
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