Firebirds not happy with 7th; LHS 11th at FSHS Invitational
Most of Free State High’s boys golfers were happy with their scores Wednesday but knew they could have done better.
With little to no wind, the conditions were perfect to shoot low scores at the Free State Invitational at Eagle Bend. But a few bad holes hurt the Firebirds, who took seventh place in the team standings. Lawrence High put up its lowest team score of the season and finished 11th.
Washburn Rural won the tournament by 16 strokes over runner-up Shawnee Mission East, and the top six medalists all shot under par.
For his first six holes, Free State junior Jack Flynn looked poised to keep up with the tournament’s top players, sitting at 2-under par.
But then he fell apart for a five-hole stretch starting at hole No. 10 with two bogeys and two double bogeys.
“I kind of just blew it there,” Flynn said. “I hurried things up and got rushed. … Probably my driving is what really hurt me. The thing is, out here you can drive it anywhere pretty much and still be all right. I just didn’t get as far as I wanted to.”
Flynn finished with a team-best 76, tying for 16th place. It has only the second time he’s finished outside of the top 10 in Free State’s five tournaments to date, but he’s not satisfied.
“Not very happy, honestly,” said Flynn, who is still working on his putting, though it improved Wednesday. “I should be playing a lot better. I’ve had a couple of good tournaments, but other ones I’ve suffered.”
Free State freshman Tate Steele turned in his best round of the year, tying for 19th after shooting a 77.
However, he was a little disappointed with his putting and even went back to the putting green after his round to get more practice.
“I’m just not good with distance, I guess, with putting” said Steele, who switched drivers before Wednesday’s tournament, and he guessed he hit around 15 fairways.
Sophomore Jack Junge tied for 28th, shooting a 78, while senior Matt Siler shot a season-best 80.
“I think we played really well,” FSHS coach Matt Gudenkauf said. “I’m very happy with the score. Unfortunately, this was a tough tournament.”
Lawrence High was led by Dawson Dykes, who shot a 80 to tie for 41st place. Garrett Wildeman shot an 81, Braxton Olson and Cole Brungardt each shot an 82, and Brent Cahwee added an 83.
“Our kids played really well,” LHS coach Dirk Wedd said. “We’re making progress. In the last three weeks, this is the lowest total that we’ve had, and if we can keep going by regional time, we’ve got a shot. It’s exciting to see them start out at 96 and shoot an 82 today.”
Both schools will compete in the Topeka West Invitational at 1 p.m. Monday.
Team Scores: Washburn Rural 281; SM East 297; Blue Valley North 301; St. Thomas Aquinas 303; Olathe Northwest 304; Blue Valley Southwest 309; Free State 311; St. James 312; Olathe East 314; Blue Valley 319; Lawrence 325; SM West 326; Topeka Seaman 327; Blue Valley Northwest 329; Shawnee Heights 330; Free State “B” 338; SM South 344; Gardner 350; Topeka 361; Blue Valley West 367; Bishop Miege 370; SM Northwest 394; Leavenworth 408.
Medalists: 1. Ryan Clatterbuck, WR, 68; 2. Parker Beal, WR, 69; 3. Corey Knabe, SME, 70; 4. Dillon Funk, ONW, 71; 5. Andy Spencer, SME, 71; 6. Andrew Beckler, WR, 71; Max Stucky-Halley, THS, 72; 8. Ryan Bender, BVN, 72; 9. Nathan Demars, ONW, 72; 10. Lukas McCalla, WR, 73.
Free State results: Jack Flynn 76, Tate Steele 77, Jack Junge 78, Matt Siler 80, Coleman Houk 83, Will Cook 92.
Free State “B” results: Daniel Clarke 81, Carson Ziegler 84, Edin Mehmedovic 86, Justin Siler 87, Bailey Pfannenstiel 88, Ty Stewart 89.
Lawrence High results: Dawson Dykes 80, Garrett Wildeman 81, Cole Brungardt 82, Braxton Olson 82, Brent Cahwee 83, Joe Mandigo 100.