Area golfers teed off at their respective divisional tournaments Wednesday in hopes of reaching the state finals. Only one team advanced, but a handful of individuals also moved one. The top three teams and three individuals not on a qualifying squad, earned spots in the state championship field.
Division 4 at Klinger Lake Country Club
White Pigeon put together a fantastic score of 343 to finish-runner up to Hackett Catholic Prep (338). Kalamazoo Christian also grabbed a state qualifying spot with a score of 345.
Centreville placed fifth with a 368, Colon took 12th with a 419, Howardsville Christian was 15th overall with a 458 and Burr Oak (555) was 17th.
Freshman Carter Geigley finished with a round of 85 to secure an individual qualifying spot for Centreville for the June 9-10 state championship tournament at Forest Akers East in East Lansing.
White Pigeon senior Jordan Olsen was third overall with a 75 and his teammates delivered behind him. Freshman Blaine Shafter was seventh with an 86, junior Cole Shafter placed 12th with an 89, and juniors Hayden Krogh (93) and Donovan Snook (94) were among the top 25.
“Today was a pretty good day and we looked really good in spurts,” White Pigeon coach Mark Olsen said. “If we could have putted a little better today we very well could have won the regional championship. To finish second and qualify for the state finals again is a big accomplishment for this team.
“The only thing that could have been better would have been a win. Kalamazoo Christian finished second in the state last year and Kalamazoo Hackett finished seventh. I expected a hard fought Regional and that is what we got today. I think we made the most of our two weeks of practice going into the regional tournament.”
For Jordan Olsen, it will be his fourth consecutive trip to the state championship. The Chiefs won the team state title in 2014.
“Jordan put together a really solid round today,” Mark Olsen said. “I am happy with the way he played and know he has not peaked yet.
“Blaine played really good on the back nine and gave the team a much needed good score. He did not play like a freshman today and I continue to see good things and even more improvement going forward. Cole played well but struggled with the putter today. He was really grinding today to keep his score as low as it was. It is tough when things are going as well as you want it to be on the big stage of Regionals. Hayden gave us another really good score today and was a big part of our success all year. Donovan was right behind Hayden if we needed him. He also played really well.
Geigley will get his first taste of state championship competition.
“We knew coming in that we were going to have to play well,” Centreville coach Stephen Larsen said. “The kids did great today. I’m very proud of the kids in the difference of play since we were here two weeks ago. We really focused on our scoring since the White Pigeon Invite.
“Carter Geigley played really well today. His putting was key to the great round he had. Shawn Larsen (91) and Hannah Terayama (92) both had pretty solid rounds. Ethan Schrock (100) and Jeremiah Koller (106) did great. We had a team goal that we met and all the kids improved over the season. Carter qualified for the state finals.
Division 2 at Bedford Valley Golf Course in Battle Creek
Gull Lake cruised to a team title with a collective score of 320, while Marshall (331) and Jackson Northwest (336) also punched their tickets to the state finals at the Meadows at Grand Valley State University.
Sturgis finished 18th with 373 and Three Rivers was 22nd with 399.
For Sturgis, senior Ryan Brenneman was 16th overall with an 85, sophomore Gerritt Losinski shot a 96, junior Jarrett Schroeder had a 97, senior Matt Polzin shot a 95 and junior Austin St. Louis ended the day with a 112.
Three Rivers was led by junior Calvin Trammell, who was 45th overall with a 92. Senior Wes Geans shot a 100, sophomore Jett Haifley finished with a 102, junior Jacob Turner ended the round in 105 strokes, and sophomore Parker Jackson shot a 111.
The individual qualifiers were Cameron Ruge of Coldwater, who shot 74, Logan Heckathorn of St. Joseph, who finished with a 79, and Jacob Gernaat from Plainwell, who shot an 81.
Division 3 at Stonehedge North in Augusta
Schoolcraft claimed a regional championship with a score of 313, and Olivet (342) and Delton-Kellogg (359) also qualified for the state finals to be held at Katke Golf Course in Big Rapids. Buchanan’s Austin Lloyd shot an 80, Jonesville’s Grant Baker fired an 83 and Berrien Springs’ Blake Rudlaff finished with an 84 to qualify for state as individuals.
Constantine placed 15th overall with a score of 423. Senior Jake Locker led the way with a 93, followed by sophomore Brendan Patmelnieks (110), senior Zach Harrison (113), sophomore Drew Hulse (118) and freshman Caleb Wisel (107).