Free State High junior Alex Green, the city’s steadiest golfer, carded a 78 at Buffalo Dunes in Garden City in Monday’s Class 6A state tournament, good for 11th place.
Senior teammate Lee York had the city’s next-best score with an 83, and the Firebirds finished sixth in the state with a team score of 333. Senior Colin Becker, junior Wilson Hack and sophomore Hunter Dedloff each shot an 86 for the Firebirds, and junior Max Soto shot an 88.
Lawrence High did not qualify as a team but sent four golfers to the tournament to compete as individuals.
Senior Logan Henrichs, who played the back nine first, stood at 4-over par with four holes to go and suffered consecutive blow-up holes that derailed his round. His triple bogey was followed by a quadruple bogey and finished with an 84.
“Even though it was windy, I didn’t think the course played too hard today,” Henrichs said. “I just made a mess of those two holes.”
Henrichs’ brother, Connor, a sophomore, matched his brother’s 84, completing his strong finish to a season that showed how much promise the soccer and basketball player has as a golfer.
“I’ll probably play more than I did last summer,” Connor said. “I didn’t play too much last summer.”
Junior Brett Van Blaricum shot an 85, and sophomore Narito Mendez carded a 100.
Green plans to stay busy playing in as many highly competitive amateur tournaments as he can in an attempt to keep shaving strokes off his scores and catch the attention of college coaches.
Asked to name his best shot of the day, Green said, “Probably my drive on 18. It was about 315 yards, a nice draw around a big tree, and I had about 20 yards into the green. I hit it over with a lob wedge. Bogey.”
Green had three birdies, eight parts, five bogeys and two double bogeys and shot a 39 on each side. He finished five strokes behind Blue Valley North’s Zach Tate, who won the tournament. Green was in contention until a double bogey on No. 16 set him back.
“It was a great-looking course,” Green said. “Lush fairways. Nice greens, and they were rolling so quick.”
LHS coach Dirk Wedd also gave Buffalo Dunes high grades.
“It was hard,” he said. “And it was windy. It wasn’t windy for a Western Kansas kid, but it was windy for an Eastern Kansas kid. It’s a hard course, but it’s a fair course. It was a good experience for the kids.”