As is the case with most courses that have rolling terrain, the game of golf is full of ups and downs.
Such was the case with the Lakeview High boys’ links squad on Saturday at Grand Valley State University’s The Meadows Golf Course in Allendale.
Well, sort of.
The big “up” for coach Tony Evans’ Spartans on the second and final day of the MHSAA Division 1 Finals was that junior Matt Garland earned the individual state medalist title by following his round of 3-under-par 69 Friday with a par-72 Saturday for a 3-under 141 total — four shots better than runner-up Evan Bowser of Dearborn and his 145 (70-75).
The last Spartan to win a state individual title was Matt Thompson, who claimed back-to-back crowns in 2007 and 2008 — with his effort in 2008 helping Lakeview win the Division 2 team championship.
Another “up” for Lakeview was junior Landon Osborne joining Garland on the top-10-and-ties All-State medals squad, as Osborne finished in a tie for seventh with a 150 (77-73).
However, the Spartans’ quest for their fifth team championship in school history came up one stroke short, as Lakeview placed second with a 603. The fifth-ranked Spartans were in first place by three shots in the 15-team championship after Friday’s 296, but had a 307 Saturday and wound up runner-up to Birmingham Brother Rice and its 602 (304-298).
Aside from Garland’s individual championship and Osborne’s top-10 All-State finish, the other local golfer to make top-10 All-State on Saturday was Delton Kellogg senior Mitch Wandell, who placed sixth with a 146 (72-74) at the D-3 Finals at Forest Akers East GC at Michigan State University.
And aside from Garland and Osborne for Lakeview, senior Jared Multer had an 82 Saturday to go along with his 72 Friday for a two-day 154 (a score of 150 or better was needed for top-10 All-State); freshman Gabe Penegor had an 80 Saturday (junior Nick Vocke shot an 84 Friday out of the No. 5 spot); and freshman Matt Alderink had a no-count 83 Saturday after shooting a 78 Friday for a 161.
“Not winning the state championship as a team was kind of tough after having the first-day lead, but we played our best as a team and that’s what counts,” said Lakeview coach Tony Evans. “And as far as Matt Garland being individual state champ and Landon making all-state, I’m just so proud of both of them. But again, I’m proud of the whole team, too.
“Landon had another up-and-down round again but hung in there, and Matt Garland … what can I say? He just went crazy this weekend. After he had an 81 at regionals and kind of felt like he let the team down — Garland just played amazing golf over two days on a very tough Meadows course. It was fun to watch, and as I told him, no matter what else happens in his life, he’s a state champion and nobody can ever take that away from him.”
Garland said the keys to his success was better putting despite a lot of tough pin placements — with putting something he’s been working on hard all season — and just “being out there with my second family, my brothers, on this team and all of us working hard together to do the best we could.”
“I really wasn’t focused on winning a state championship individually. I was just focused on trying to shoot an even-par 72 (Saturday) and hoping that would be enough to help us win as a team,” Garland said. “Well, we didn’t quite get the team part done, but there’s nothing wrong with second place. And as far as me winding up as state champ, it really hasn’t sunk in yet. I attacked the golf course a lot of Friday during that 69 but got into trouble a few times, but today I just tried to get on the greens in two and two-putt and take my pars.
“And when I made a 30-footer from the fringe on my 15th hole, I knew I’d be able to stay near par. And then to find out I’d won it individually, I was really happy. And I was especially happy that my grandma was out there to watch me win. She does everything in golf for me, and today she got a chance to share this championship with me.”
At Katke Golf Course at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Marshall finished 10th as a team with a 636. The Redhawks had a 316 Saturday after a 320 Friday.
Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood cruised to a 17-shot first-place victory as a squad in Division 2, shooting a stellar 588 (299-289).
Marshall, ranked No. 3 in the state going into the postseason, was led by sophomore Brandon Hawkins’ 151 on rounds of 76-75 (a 147 or lower was needed to make All-State individually).
Also, sophomore Tanor Blowers had a 159 (79-80), senior Nick Hawkins a 162 (82-80), freshman Brooks Bultemeier a 167 (86-81) and sophomore Aaron McCoy a 169 (83-86).
Additionally at the site, individual qualifier Evan Krohn, a senior from Gull Lake, had a 153 (77-76).
Aside from the aforementioned Wandell of Delton Kellogg making top-10-and-ties All-State individually, Olivet sophomore Tyler Masters shot a 156 (77-79). A score of 148 or better was needed for an All-State medal.
Team-wise, Jackson Lumen Christi took first with a 596 (302-294) to claim the Division 3 title.
For complete scores in all divisions, please see mhsaa.com.