With a birdie putt on No. 16, Sioux Falls Lincoln's Ryan Neff knew Class AA medalist honors were well within reach.
"I putted it super hard, but it hit off the back of the cup and went in," beamed Neff, who entered the day three strokes behind Rapid City Stevens' Adam Salter. "I was so fired up. I was just ready to get those last two holes over with."
After going back-and-forth with Salter for most of Tuesday's round at Brookings Country Club, Neff's birdie on No. 16 gave him a two-stroke advantage and set the tone for the final two holes. Following a bogey on No. 17, he closed out his high school career with a birdie on No. 18 — after nearly holing out for eagle from about 35 yards out. Neff's 1-under 71 Tuesday afternoon left him with a two-day total of 145 (1-over), four strokes better than Salter (149) for individual medalist honors.
Neff's finish proved to be the difference in the team standings, as well, with Lincoln (+30) finishing four strokes ahead of Rapid City Stevens (+34) for the team title.
The team title is the Patriots' sixth overall and first since 2012. They'd finished runner-up three straight years from 2014-16.
Sioux Falls Roosevelt was third with a 625, followed by Spearfish at 630 and Yankton at 635. Sturgis finished with a 668, Rapid City Central at 711 and Douglas did not field a complete team.
Also for the Raiders, Ben Daane tied for fourth with a 150, while Ryan Nolan tied for 10th with a 154. Payton Phares tied for 16th with a 158 and Jonah Swartx tied for 20th with a 160.
Kevin Kolb of Spearfish tied with Salter for second place with a 149, shooting a 73 on Tuesday. Tice McVay of Sturgis tied for eighth with a 153.
Murphy, Tea Area capture A titles
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Tea Area's Brock Murphy battled back late to win the Class A state boys golf title over Sisseton's Nate Nielsen, as the Titans also captured the team title.
Murphey trailed Nielsen by two strokes with two holes to play, but tied Nielsen heading into the 18th hole. Nielsen again bogeyed the final hole and Murphey two-putted for the victory.
The Titans finished with a 686, 13 strokes ahead of second-place Sisseton. Madison was third with a 700, followed by Dakota Valley (703) and SiouxValley (706).
Custer finished in 10th place with a 746, while St. Thomas More was 14th and Hot Springs 15th.
Lucas Schaefbauer of Aberdeen Roncalli was third with a 156, followed by Braden Eimers of Madison at 161, Cameron Caldwell Chamberlain at 162 and Lance Christensen of Little Wound in six-way tie for sixth at 163.
Austin Eggers of Custer was tied for 22nd with a 177. STM was led by Carter Janssen, who tied for 36th with a 183.
The Sioux Falls Argus Leader contributed to this story.