Lansing Catholic began its Division 3 title defense on Friday at The Emerald by easily winning a district championship.
The Cougars recorded a team score of 303 and won by 19 shots over St. Charles. All four scores that Lansing Catholic took were under 80.
“We only lost one player (from last year), granted he went to Oakland and he was a great player, but we have a lot of depth this year,” said Brent Marshall after winning medalist honors with a 73 for Lansing Catholic.
“We have probably seven players that can shoot in the 70s, let alone our top five, who are always pretty consistently in the 70s. That always takes a lot of pressure off me and everybody else knowing that there are teammates there that are going to back you up.”
Marshall tied his teammate Owen Rush at 73 and the two went into a playoff to decide who would win first place individually. Both players parred the first hole, but Rush’s approach shot on the second hole went over the green toward a water hazard and he was not able to get his ball up and in.
Marshall’s approach from about 20 yards closer trickled just over the green and he was able to chip to within a foot for a winning par.
“It was fun going into the playoff with Owen,” Marshall said. “He’s a great teammate and it was a fun round. He kept it fun and it was great to come out on top, but he played great the entire day. He said he hit a 7-iron from 165 and we were into the wind, so I ended up clubbing down to a 9-iron. I thought I stuffed it, but it ended up going over the green. I had a fairly simple chip from there.”
Rush was satisfied with his own round.
“Putting saved me the whole day. That’s most of the reason why I shot 73, but I was happy with the way I played,” Rush said. “I was trying to play it short so it wouldn’t go over (on the second playoff hole) but I maybe thinned it a little bit. It was tough to get it up and down from there.”
The two rallied late to finish with 73s. Marshall played his final four holes in 4-under par while Rush birdied two of his last three holes.
“We always try to emphasize that it’s very important to finish strong and both of those guys did, and the playoff occurred because of it,” Lansing Catholic coach Charlie Furney said.
Niko Voutsaras added a 78 and Adam Elias had a 79 to round out the scoring for the Cougars.
Williamston and Ithaca also placed in the top six to advance to regionals, which will take place Wednesday at Glenbrier in Perry.
Parker Ottarson, who was the medalist earlier in the season at the CAAC Open, had a 74 for Williamston to finish one stroke behind Marshall and Rush.
“Parker’s been solid all year long,” Williamston coach Bob Burns said. “He was sick for a couple days this week, but he came back really good. The last text I sent to him said you’ve got to get well because we need you.”
Michael Willson came in with an 81 for the Hornets, while Kyle Russell and Seth Costello chipped in with rounds of 84 and 90, respectively.
Ithaca was fifth behind Williamston, six shots back of the Hornets with a team score of 335. Alex Vanderploeg had an 81 to lead the Yellowjackets. Kaeden Greer and John Derry both had 84s.
Laingsburg’s Jagger Richard also had an 83 to qualify for regionals as an individual.
* DIVISION 2 at METAMORA: Owosso advanced to regionals by finishing in fourth place in the district at Metamora Country Club on Thursday.
Jordan Waters and Jalen Weekley each shot 85 and tied for ninth place individually for the Trojans, who will compete in the Thursday regional at the Nightmare Golf Course in West Branch.
Corunna finished eighth as a team, but Casey Smith shot an 86 and Brandon Crouse an 88 to qualify for regionals as individuals.