No team could keep pace with Division 4 boys golf champion Clarkston Everest Collegiate Saturday as the squad posted a two-day total of 629 to claim the state title by 11 strokes at Forest Akers East Golf Course in East Lansing.
Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian was runner-up with 640. White Pigeon ended the year in 10th place with 697.
The Chiefs put together a round of 350 Saturday with Jordan Olsen trimming one stroke off his Friday score to finish with a 78. He ended the tournament 14th overall individually. Clinton’s Austin Fauser went 69-70—139 for a medalist finish.
Blaine Shafer shot 88, Cole Shafer carded 91, Hayden Krogh had 93 and Donovan Snook registered 96 for the Chiefs.
“The Chiefs started out very well and finished strong but had some rough holes in the middle of the round today,” White Pigeon coach Mark Olsen said. “Our goal was to be a top-10 finisher and the best of all of the public schools at the finals. We were able to finish in the top 10 but we only managed to finish third best amongst the public schools.
“This is White Pigeon’s 10th top-10 finish at the State Finals in the last 15 seasons. I saw some really good play today and the bad shots came at bad times which compounded the damage to the scores. Once again the pin placements were a little crazy.”
On hole No. 16 in particular, Mark Olsen said, the pin placement was overly difficult. The Chiefs finished with 13 putts on that hole alone Saturday.
“Jordan played a very solid round today even though he didn’t score very well,” Mark Olsen said. “He only had three or four shots that were off but they really cost him a lot of strokes. He was hitting fairways and greens with consistency and he even putted fairly well today.
“His career did not end the way he hoped it would but he fought hard all the way to the end of the round and never gave up. Jordan ended his high school career with birdies on each of his last two holes that he played. I was very proud of how he played today and proud of what he accomplished during his high school career.”
Olsen said Blaine Shafer overcame some struggles with the driver for another strong round.
“Hus hunger to get better is amazing and I see many trips to the state finals ahead for Blaine,” Olsen said.
Cole Shafer was steady until a bad lie in a pot bunker on No. 8 led to a big score, though he was able to bounce back.
“Cole is another player who is determine to become a top-notch golfer and I am convinced he will do it.”
Olsen added that Krogh played with a lot of “determination and grit today” with a fairly significant toe injury, and that Snook took advantage of his opportunity in the spotlight.
“Looking ahead to next year, I think we will be a pretty solid team,” Olsen explained. “Even though we will lose Jordan to graduation, we have a very strong group coming back and a couple strong players who will be new to the program and are expected to be a big part of the team. With the determination I am seeing from the team right now, I am feeling pretty good about our chances making another run at returning to the state finals.”
Centreville’s Carter Geigly turned in a two-day score of 171 to place 42nd out of 105 players. He shot 86 Saturday.
“Very proud of Carter this weekend,” Bulldogs coach Stephen Larsen said. “He was able to scramble a little on a course that was pretty tough. Carter hasn’t played on a course like this all year. The greens were very fast and the hole locations were the toughest I’ve ever seen. The overall experience was amazing for him.”
Friday’s First Round
White Pigeon closed out Friday’s opening round with a score of 347 and sat in 10th place.
Individually, the Chiefs were led by Jordan Olsen with a score of 79, which put him in 11th place. Blaine Shafer finished with 85, Cole Shafer had 87, Hayden Krogh cored 96 and Dakota Ryall registered 102.
“The Chiefs Struggled with putting today but still managed to put together a pretty good round today,” White Pigeon coach Mark Olsen said. “The pins were in some very nasty spots that made putting very difficult. It also seemed like we just could not get used to the speed of the greens. We went from rain at the beginning to sunny and windy at the end of the day.
“Our score was 347, which is pretty good for a bunch of youngsters at the State Finals. You have to expect a little nervousness, which can interfere with thinking and execution. All in all, I am happy with the performances today.”
Centreville’s Geigley recorded a round of 85 to start the tournament.