Scores were slightly higher than the temperature at Monday’s first St. Joseph Valley League golf tournament at St. Joe Valley Golf Club, but White Pigeon’s squad turned in a collective 174 to start the season hot.
Mendon followed with 190 and Centreville was third with 196. Bronson only had one player in the field.
Centreville’s Logan Heffner was medalist with a 6-over-par 40 on the back nine. The sophomore got in trouble early with a triple bogey but settled in and closed the round with three pars.
“The round started off rough but a couple holes later things started to turn around for me, and I started my comeback,” Heffner said. “Started off with a triple, went par, bogey, par, bogey, bogey, par, par, par. Finishing with consistency.”
All five White Pigeon scorers stayed in the 40s on a day where the mercury dropped below that. Brothers Riley and Jordan Olsen shot 41 and 44, respectively, with teammate Andrew Mann also finishing at 44, to lead the team. Riley Olsen tied Centreville’s Eli Schwartz for second place.
“The biggest issue is keeping your hands warm,” Riley Olsen said. “Mittens just didn’t do the job. Another issue is the ball is almost frozen; it doesn’t compress and fly as far or accurately as it should. You don’t get spin. Cold kills distance. You have to adjust extremely well.”
White Pigeon coach Mark Olsen was happy with his team’s balance scoring from top to bottom on a cold and windy evening, but pointed out how the overall total could have been much lower.
“Each person had one hole they wished they could have done over,” he explained. “Riley played well in stretches, as did younger brother Jordan. Jordan had one shot that cost him four shots that came from a bad break.”
Jordan Olsen and Mann tied for fourth, followed by teammate Christian Ryall-Shoup and Centreville’s Jon Peckinpaugh with rounds of 45. Mendon’s Zack Higgins was seventh (46) and Cory Snook (White Pigeon), Dylan Clark (Mendon) and Caleb Henckel (Mendon) rounded out the top 10 with 47s.