GH, SL golf each advance to regional round

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:42 PM

The scores weren’t what they were hoping for, but the final result was just fine for both Grand Haven and Spring Lake’s varsity boys golf teams.

Both the Bucs and Lakers punched their tickets to regional competition after making the top six cut at districts.

Grand Haven’s varsity boys golf team survived an off day at Thursday’s Division 1 district tournament, shooting an uncharacteristic round of 343 at Muskegon Country Club.

That was good enough to finish in sixth place — the final spot that earns a spot in next week’s regional competition.

“(Thursday’s) round was tough,” said Bucs’ coach Randy White. “The course was great and the conditions were difficult, which caused scores to go high. I have to say, as we finished the round, we were not confident about making it through to regionals.

“Fortunately for us, other teams suffered the same consequences.”

Reid Murphy continued his strong season with a team-best round of 83, followed by Patrick Ferris with an 87.

Mark Nalley added an 89, while Kevin LaCroix and Matt Nalley each added a 90.

Mona Shores won the district title with a 308, followed by Rockford (325), Grandville (334), Forest Hills Central (343), Reeths-Puffer (344) and the Buccaneers.

“We are excited about going to the next round and hopefully can put up some good scores at Battle Creek next Friday,” White said.

Spring Lake battled through tough course conditions at Cedar Chase Golf Course in Cedar Springs to take third overall. A pair of Forest Hills schools took the top two spots, with Northern winning the district with a 331 and Eastern taking runner-up at 336. The Lakers shot a 339.

Also qualifying for the regional at Diamond Springs Golf Club in Hamilton was Comstock Park (339), Grand Rapids Catholic Central (348), and Greenville (355).

“The course was tougher than hell,” said Spring Lake coach George Bitner of Cedar Chase. “It always is. It’s quite hilly, quite narrow, there’s quite a bit of water and the greens were terrible.

Maybe I’m being a little too harsh, but I wasn’t pleased with the way we played. We had too many doubles and triples.”

Sophomore Bricker Reed led the Lakers with an 82, followed closely by senior Henry McGannon’s 83.

Ben Kramer struggled to finish out his round with a pair of double bogeys and a triple, and settled for an 87. Connor Love also scored an 87.

“Since we don’t play a lot of 18-hole invitationals, we’ve had some trouble finishing out rounds,” Bitner said, noting his team’s 174 on the back nine. “We’ve got to improve on that and in a hurry.”

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