For the five Lawrence High golfers playing in Thursday’s Kansas Junior Golf Association Northeast Section tournament at Alvamar Public, the event delivered a relaxed and laid-back environment, as the Lions were able to enjoy their home-course advantage.
Alex Thompson, a senior golfer from LHS, finished with an impressive score of 76, which was good enough to tie for the silver medal in the 16-17 age division. As an employee of Alvamar, Thompson said he feels at home on the course.
“I have a lot of course knowledge,” Thompson said. “I will even notice if other guys are hitting with the wrong club off the tee.”
That insight proved advantageous on Thursday. After he bogeyed the first hole, Thompson went on to par every other hole in the front nine, with a birdie on No. 11.
“The grass was a little wet to start,” Thompson said. “As the day went on, it got easier. I did all right, but lost momentum in my last four holes.”
Thompson knows he has the advantage and offers advice to other golfers in the competition.
Spencer Scott, a recent LHS graduate and teammate of Thompson, also shot a 76 and was honored to share first place in the 18-and-over division.
“I love the course,” Scott said. “I have played here so much ever since I moved here.”
Scott said he has extra confidence when he approaches certain holes.
“Almost every time I play hole nine, I get a birdie,” Scott said. “I was excited that, today, I kept the streak going.”
In addition to Thompson, Lawrence High’s Jon Cohen and Tyler Kahn competed in the 16-17 division, finishing with a 78 and 85, respectively. Scott Friesen represented the Lions in the 14-15 division. Friesen, who finished in fifth place, with a 92, shared the feeling of home cooking.
“I am an Alvamar member,” Friesen said. “It definitely made it more laid back.”
Free State High’s Connor Klutman made his journey to the south side of Bob Billings Parkway to be the lone competitor for the Firebirds. However, he represented his squad well, shooting a personal-best 78.
“I was pretty consistent on the day,” Klutman said. “I hit the ball well and made a lot of long putts, which helps.”
However, Klutman did not play with that same relaxed feel as his rivals from LHS.
“I was nervous,” Klutman said. “Especially toward the end, but I pulled through and broke 80 for the first time in a tournament.”
Klutman tied with Cohen for fourth in the 16-17 division.
Also shooting a 78 was recent Baldwin High graduate Mason Dick. However for Dick, he considered his performance below average.
“I played the par-5s pretty bad,” Dick said. “That was the difference.”
Nevertheless, Dick’s performance was enough to finish third in the 18 and over division.
The local golfers plan to participate in the next Northeast Section event on Monday at Western Hills Golf Course in Topeka.