TRAVERSE CITY — A rough start. An exhilarating finish.
That’s how Seam Lammy’s senior year at Suttons Bay could end this weekend.
The Northwest Conference medalist will lead the Norsemen into the Division IV state golf finals at Michigan State’s Forest Akers East. The two-day, 36-hole event starts Friday.
Kalamazoo Hackett, runner-up to Lake Leelanau St. Mary last June, enters as the favorite with Saginaw Nouvel and Suttons Bay expected to be the main challengers.
“Ever since ninth-grade we’ve been working our butts off for this weekend,” Lammy said. “We have pretty high expectations. We know what we’re capable of.”
Suttons Bay has won three state titles under coach Todd Hursey.
“Things are lined up for us right now,” Hursey said. “The guys have been thinking about this for awhile. They were disappointed with their performance last year (seventh). But they knew we had a shot this year. A big focus all year has been about getting prepared for this weekend.”
The Norsemen won last week’s regional by 12 strokes over Harbor Springs. Sophomore Devin Capron led the way, firing a 76. Eric Chapman came in at 79, Brent Duddles 80 and Lammy 81.
“Devin’s been playing awesome for us,” Lammy said. “If we put it together, I think we definitely have a good shot at making a run.
“I’m proud of what we’ve done,” he added. “Personally, I haven’t had a good playoff. I’m struggling a little. Hopefully, it’s just a slump and I can find my groove and put together a couple good scores this weekend.”
It’s actually been a bounce back type of year for Lammy.
The quarterback and leader on the football team, Lammy separated his right shoulder during the first week of practice in early August. He recovered quickly and made it back into the starting lineup opening night, only to separate it again.
Lammy was able to return for the second half of the season, then spent the winter continuing rehabilitation of the shoulder. By the time golf season started, Lammy was back in the swing of things.
“It (shoulder) has really not affected me golf-wise,” he said.
Lammy, Chapman and Duddles are the three seniors on the team. Sophomores Capron and Lars Thornton round out the playing group.
“Our seniors have been outstanding,” Hursey said. “They’ve been willing to do whatever it takes (to be successful). They all want it bad. For Sean, he’s been our No. 1 man the last three years, so this is huge for him.”
Capron has emerged in the tournament, posting the team’s low score in district and regional play.
“Sean and Devin have posted our best scores this season, but every year we’ve been in contention for a state title it’s been more about our third and fourth scores,” Hursey said. “That could be the case this year. It’s those third and fourth scores that are key to winning a title.”
Lammy said all the pressure is on Kalamazoo Hackett.
“They’re the No. 1 team in the state,” he said. “They’ve been posting the best scores. We’re going to come in (as an underdog), play our game and hopefully it works out.”
Hursey said a fast start is important.
“There’s the expression, ‘You can’t win a state title on the first day, but you can lose it,’” he said. “It’s all about staying within striking distance that first day and then being able to relax and trust your abilities.”
Harbor Springs is the other area team in the 15-team field.
Individual qualifiers include Leland’s Joel Sneed, who led St. Mary’s to the state title a year ago, Brethren’s Bryson Waller and Onekama’s Derek Hobart.