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Golf: United North Central golfers had productive season

The Warriors capped off the season by qualifying 3 for the Section 8AA tournament.

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United North Central's Carter Hillukka capped off the 2022 season by placing 12th at the Section 8AA tournament. Hillukka earned a spot on the Northern Pines Conference First Team with a 41.8 average.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise
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Having the boys win the Northern Pines Conference title and having five individuals earn NPC honors while sending three individuals to the Section 8AA tournament highlighted a productive season for the United North Central golf teams.

For the boys, Carter Hillukka, Joey Hillukka, Jeron Pinoniemi, Nick Wurdock, Josh Hillukka and Ryan Tolkkinen led the Warriors to the NPC title with Carter Hillukka and Joey Hillukka qualifying for the Section 8AA tournament. Alayna Day also received NPC honors and qualified for the Section 8AA tournament for the UNC girls.

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Joey Hillukka capped off the 2022 season by placing 25th at the Section 8AA tournament. Hillukka earned a spot on the Northern Pines Conference First Team with a 39.5 average.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

In the NPC opener, the UNC boys tied for first on the front side with a 176 and were second on the back side with a 182 at Wadena’s Whitetail Run Golf Course. Joey Hillukka was the medalist on the front with a 38 while Carter Hillukka’s 45, Tolkkinen’s 46 and Wurdock’s 47 rounded out the team score. On the back, Carter Hillukka was the medalist with a 43 while Joey Hillukka’s 44, Wurdock’s 46 and Tolkkinen’s 49 completed the Warriors’ team score.

At Bemidji’s Castle Highlands Golf Course, UNC took first on the front as Joey Hillukka’s 38, Carter Hillukka’s 40, Pinoniemi’s 41 and Tolkkinen’s 42 led to a winning score of 161 while a pair of 40s by Carter Hillukka and Wurdock, a 43 by Pinoniemi and a 44 by Joey Hillukka resulted in a 167 for third place on the back.

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Nick Wurdock concluded his senior season by earning a spot on the 2022 Northern Pines Conference Second Team with a 42.7 average.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

The Warriors closed out the NPC season by taking second on the front and first on the back at Walker’s LongBow Golf Course. A pair of 41s by Carter Hillukka and Pinoniemi, Wurdock’s 43 and Joey Hillukka’s 44 gave UNC a 169 on the front while Wurdock’s 37, Joey Hillukka’s 39, and a pair of 42s by Carter Hillukka and Pinoniemi produced a 160 on the back.

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Carter Hillukka and Joey Hillukka received NPC First Team honors while Wurdock and Pinoniemi earned NPC Second Team honors. Joey Hillukka led the Warriors with a 39.5 average while Carter Hillukka (41.8), Wurdock (42.7), Tolkkinen (45.8) and Josh Hillukka (48.5) followed as those five golfers played all six rounds in NPC play. Pinoniemi had a 41.8 average in four rounds while Wesley Hodge had a 54.5 average in two rounds.

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Jeron Pinoniemi posted a 41.8 average to earn Northern Pines Conference Second Team honors during the 2022 season.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

In their only 18-hole tournament during the regular season, the Warriors finished fifth at the 10-team Park Rapids Invitational at Headwaters Golf Club with a 350 behind Carter Hillukka’s 82, Joey Hillukka’s 87, Wurdock’s 90 and Tolkkinen’s 91.

At the Section 8AA South tournament at Headwaters Golf Club, UNC finished fifth out of seven teams with a 363 with Carter Hillukka’s 85 and Joey Hillukka’s 91 leading the way. Pinoniemi’s 93 and Wurdock’s 94 rounded out the team score while Josh Hillukka carded a 96 and Tolkkinen added a 102. Fergus Falls (333), Hawley (335) and Barnesville (352) were the three teams that qualified for the section tournament.

Carter Hillukka carded rounds of 86 and 81 to place 12th at 167 while Joey Hillukka carded rounds of 92 and 86 to tie for 25th place at 178 at the Section 8AA tournament at the Bemidji Town & Country Club. Carter Hillukka finished with an 83.5 average while Joey Hillukka had an 89.0 average in four 18-hole rounds.

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United North Central's Ryan Tolkkinen posted a 45.8 average in six Northern Pines Conference rounds during the 2022 season.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

Day received NPC First Team honors with a 49.3 average after carding rounds of 55 and 50 at Wadena, 53 and 41 at Bemidji, and 47 and 50 at LongBow. Sofia Pulju posted a 59.2 average with rounds of 56 and 62 at Wadena, 58 and 54 at Bemidji, and 61 and 64 at LongBow. Faythe Honga had rounds of 71 and 74 while Andrea Honga had rounds of 74 and 79 at Wadena.

At the Park Rapids Invitational, the Warriors finished eighth with a 509 behind Day’s 92, Pulju’s 120, Andrea Honga’s 147 and Faythe Honga’s 150.

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Alayna Day capped off the season by placing 13th at the 2022 Section 8AA tournament. Day received Northern Pines Conference First Team honors with a 49.3 average.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

Day carded a 101 to finish 13th overall and as the No. 2 individual qualifier while Pulju had a 113 at the Section 8AA South tournament. At the Section 8AA tournament, Day posted rounds of 97 and 89 to tie for 13th place at 186 and end the season with a 94.8 average in four 18-hole rounds.

“This season was short, but ultimately productive,” said UNC head coach Tim Wurdock. “The kids are working hard this summer. A few players have the potential to go to state with some effort this summer.”

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1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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