Local golfer to play in Michigan Jr State Championship

Tribune Staff • Jul 31, 2017 at 12:04 AM

Standout Spring Lake golfer Nick Krueger didn’t skip a beat after finishing fifth overall at the Division 3 golf state championships in June.

The rising junior has made full work of his summer so far, qualifying for the Golf Association of Michigan’s Junior State Amateur tournament July 31-Aug. 3 at Eagle Eye Golf Club.

Krueger qualified for the event with a tremendous round at Sunnybrook Country Club on July 10, carding a 63 on his 18-hole round. The young sharpshooter dropped 10 birdies and five pars to secure his spot at the state championship tournament.

“His feet were barely touching the ground,” Spring Lake varsity golf coach George Bitner said. “He has never had twice as many birdies as pars. He won by five or six strokes.”

Kruger finished with just three bogeys on the day. The tournament rounded Sunnybrook’s front nine twice, due to standing water on the back nine. The repetition seemed only to buoy his confidence.

“The boys he was playing with just went nuts,” Bitner said. “That was his career best.”

The stellar round earned Krueger the top-spot at this week’s championship.

“He should be competitive,” Bitner said of his star’s chances. “He has been so focused this summer, always thinking about golf.”

This week marks the 39th running of the tournament, reserved for the best of Michigan’s young players. Eighty nine boys, age 18 and under, played through 18-hole sectional qualifiers to earn a spot.

The Championship will begin with a 36-hole stroke play round today, with the lowest 32 scorers advancing to match play Tuesday through Thursday.

The first round of match play will run Tuesday morning, with the second round Wednesday morning and quarterfinals Wednesday afternoon. The semifinals and finals will be played on Thursday, Aug. 3. All match play rounds will be 18-holes.

Krueger will tee-off today at 8:30 a.m. with Tony Fuentes of East Lansing High School and Eric Nunn of St. Johns, who will continue his golf career as a Grand Valley Laker next year.

Results from the tournament can be found at the Golf Association of Michigan Website, under junior boys championships.

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