By JAMES COOK email@example.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — LANSING — A large rainstorm Wednesday made play at the Division 1 and 4 state golf finals a little extra interesting.
“Flooded might sound like a strong word,” Suttons Bay coach Todd Hursey said. “But there are ponds where there is not supposed to be water. ... There were places where you hit it right down the middle of the fairway, and you’re up to your ankles to go retrieve your ball.”
The Lansing area received about four inches of rain as part of a large storm that swept through the Midwest.
“I’d say there were six holes that don’t (normally) have water on them that there were ponds there,” Hursey said. “The ducks were swimming in it. It was pretty wild.”
Players who hit into the recently-created water hazards were able to get relief, and one hole was shortened from a par 4 to a par 3.
Still, area team and individuals were able to post some solid scores in Friday’s opening round. The finals conclude today.
In Division 1, Traverse City West was 10th at Forest Akers West on the campus of Michigan State University.
Battle Creek Lakeview leads the D1 field with a 299. TC West shot 319.
“It was a tough day for scoring overall,” West coach Mike Schultz said. “(Today), we’re hoping for better. We’ll go out and give it our best and see what we can do.”
The Titans were led on the day by Cam Murray (79), Payden Myers (80), Alex Scott (80), Keits Shoemaker (80) and Brady Greenman (81).
Noting that all five West players were within two strokes, Schultz joked, “We should get an award for being most consistent.”
“They just didn’t have their A game,” Schultz said. “Cam is eight shots back and the rest of the guys are pretty much nine. If one of them goes low, there’s a possibility they can work their way into a pretty high individual finish. It’s tough for all the seniors going out on that note. I’d like to see them all go out and play some great golf and have some good memories of their high school careers and season.
“I’d love to work us into the top five. We’ve got a lot of teams tightly packed together on the leader board. If we can move up five or six spots, that would be fantastic.”
TC Central’s Winton Munch is tied for third as an individual, two strokes out of the lead, after shooting a 74.
“He’s right there in the hunt,” Central coach Dave McMellen said. “They key for him today was he hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens. He was really even-tempered and nothing really upset him. He kept focused on what he had to do.”
Munch had one birdie and three bogeys.
Plymouth’s Kyle Rodes leads the individual hunt with a 72, followed by three players tied with 73s and Munch among three at 74.
“(Today) will be interesting, because the 72 and both 73s — all three of those guys — are playing on teams,” McMellen said. “So they’ll be focused on team scores, which is different. If you’re an individual, you really have to prepare differently.”
Suttons Bay is third in Division 3 at MSU’s Forest Akers East. The Norsemen shot 322 for the day, but face an uphill climb to move up, as Kalamazoo Hacket leads the field with a 300 and Saginaw Nouvel shot 310.
“We had an average day, but with the scores that Hackett and Nouvel shot, we had to be exceptional to be with them,” Hursey said. “We’re happy to be in third.”
The Norse were led by Sean Lammy’s 76, with Brent Duddles shooting 79, Devin Capron 81, Eric Chapman 86 and Lars Thornton 87.
“We didn’t have any blowup holes,” Hursey said. “Sometimes you have triple bogeys. We just had a couple double bogeys. The problem was we had so many bogeys. To be out in front, you have to make a lot of pars and a few birdies.”
Suttons Bay will play in a wave with the two top teams when play resumes today at 8 a.m.
“We’ll know where we stand with No. 1 and No. 2,” Hursey said.
Manistee Catholic’s Zack Bialik is second overall, shooting a 71 to trail Nouvel’s Nick Ludka by one shot. Leland’s Joel Sneed is eight with a 74 and Brethren’s Bryson Waller carded a 77.
Harbor Springs is 13th with a 346, led by an 81 from James Adams and an 83 by Bennett Langton.
In Division 2 at Grand Valley State’s The Meadows, Petoskey with 11th with a 341 and Gaylord is 15th at 361. Grand Rapids Christian leads with a 315.
Gaylord’s Cam Laug and Petoskey’s Cam Ludlow are tied for 12th overall, each shooting 78. Silas Lee added a 79 for Petoskey.
Jackson Lumen Christi leads the Division 3 field at Battle Creek’s Bedford Valley with a 304. Manistee is 11th at 334 and Charlevoix 14th at 348.
Brad Rizzo led the Rayders with a 79, while Blake Davis and Will Shriver each carded 82s for the Chippewas. Cheboygan’s Andrew Purcell also shot 82 as an individual qualifier.