When Lansing Catholic took third place behind DeWitt and East Lansing at the East Lansing Invitational at Walnut Hills on Apr. 21, coach Charlie Furney said his group was disappointed with the result.
The Cougars reveled for another chance to face some of the best competition from the mid-Michigan area, and they took full advantage on Friday.
Lansing Catholic recorded a team score of 303 at Eldorado in Mason at the CAAC Open. Itfinished six shots clear of a field of the best teams in the CAAC Blue, Red, Gold and White.
“I know that they thought they would be able to play better than (at Walnut) and I think their goal was to come out here and prove that they were a better team than what they were at Walnut Hills,” Furney said. “I thought the team played very solid. When your worst score is 81, that’s good stuff. It shows how deep we are.”
Niko Voutsaras led the way for the Cougars with score of 72, tying him for third place.
“I played really well today,” Voutsaras said. “I putted very well, made a lot of putts. I just hit the ball very well, hit a lot of greens as well. It was just a really solid round,” “Playing some of the better teams, we want to play and beat them and show that we’re the best and that’s what we do.”
The 17-team event showed the Cougars are primed for their Division 3 state title defense. After losing last year’s area player of the year in Jacob Johnson following a state championship at Bedford Valley in Battle Creek, the Cougars showed off the returning depth against many larger area schools.
Senior Brent Marshall and sophomore Owen Rush each had rounds of 80 for Lansing CatholicJunior Patrick Gillespie had a 75 and junior Adam Elias added a 76.
“Their goal right from the very beginning was to defend the championship, and obviously everybody has to improve their stroke averages from last year to get to that point,” Furney said.. “We lost a good player from last year and we’re trying to make up for his absence and I think the depth is making up for his absence.”
Holt was another team that improved upon itsfinish at the East Lansing Invitational, taking second place with a 309 on Friday — its lowest score of the season — after a 349 at Walnut Hills.
Freshman Tony Fuentes matched Voutsaras with a 72 and Zach Dowling, who did not play in the East Lansing Invitational, had a 77 at Eldorardo.
The Rams also put together a third and fourth score, which have been inconsistent this year. Junior Garrett Dickinson carded a 79 and senior Greg Blanck added an 81.
“It’s been high 80s to a 90 at times,” Holt coach Doug Harkema said of some of the scores he has had to count in some tournaments. “But we’ve just been really working hard at mentally playing the game in a way that reduces mistakes and reduces double and triple bogeys, and it’s starting to click in. Tony played really well and Zach played awesome other than one hole. He made a nine on one hole, so to shoot 77 with a nine is pretty impressive. …
“There’s a lot of big golf in the next three weeks, so we’re just trying to improve and compete for some of those things.”
DeWitt was third with a team score of 311. Grand Ledge took fourth with a 314 and Okemos was fifth with a 315.
Williamston senior Parker Ottarson, playing in the No. 2 spot for the Hornets, posted the best score of the day with a 70. East Lansing’s Joe Croom was second with a 71.