As a freshman in 2012, Owen Beyer’s score counted both days for the DeWitt golf team at the Division 2 state tournament. But the Panthers finished second behind Cranbrook-Kingswood.
Beyer got a final chance at a state title this year as a senior and helped lead his team to victory.
The LSJ golfer of the year opened with a five-under-par 67 at Michigan State’s Forest Akers East and went on to finish third individually after a 75 on the second day. As a team, DeWitt beat Cranbrook by one stroke for the state championship.
“We came really, really close,” Beyer said of his freshman season, which would have been DeWitt’s third state title in a row. “That runner-up was what motivated me and to finally put it together my last career high school tournament, it was surreal.”
Beyer averaged 76.3 strokes for 18-hole events this spring and 37.7 for nine-hole rounds. The all-state selection took first at the CAAC Red tournament in a field that included Michigan State commit Zach Rosendale and Dream Teamer Eric Nunn and was top three in the district tournament on the way to the state final.
“He became a lot smarter player and put the driver away more this year when he didn’t need to hit it and he got to be really consistent with his short game and got up and down when he missed greens,” DeWitt coach Dave Koenigsknecht said of Beyer.
“That’s a cool thing for him to top off his career with (a state championship) leading up to his college career.”
Beyer will golf collegiately at Northern Michigan University. This summer he will attempt to qualify for the Michigan Junior Amateur and the Michigan Junior Open while also playing in the GLAGA All-City Championship in late July.
He will have experience playing early in his career after his four years on the DeWitt varsity. A player who led more by example according to Koenigsknecht, Beyer was one of just a few returning varsity players entering this season for the Panthers.
The team finished seventh in last year’s state tournament and Beyer was not happy with the result.
“We kind of blew up at states. It didn’t feel right,” Beyer said. “The team this year, I didn’t think we had the greatest shot to win compared to some of our other teams but we had potential and we finally just put two rounds together and it was perfect timing. We just needed to have a day where we could just all play to the fullest of our potential.”