EAST LANSING – Most golfers who took to the course at Walnut Hills Country Club for the East Lansing Invitational on Monday saw stiff wind and cold temperatures and were focused on not letting the conditions spoil their scores.
But Lansing Catholic senior Adam Elias, a veteran who has played for two straight state championship teams, had other concerns for the day.
“Didn’t wear a hat, so I kind of messed up my hair at some points of the round,” Elias said with a smile after finishing 18 holes in 74 strokes. “Just running my fingers through it kept it looking good. Look good, play good.”
Elias was the lowest of three Cougar golfers shooting under 80 for the day as Niko Voutsaras and Patrick Gillespie added rounds of 76 and 78, respectively. Lansing Catholic had a team score of 310 and won by one shot over Holt.
“It was key to have a good mentality and stay focused in the tough conditions,” Elias said. “We knew there were a lot of good teams here, but when we play good we know we can beat anybody.”
It was Lansing Catholic’s first 18-hole tournament win of the spring and the first as a coach for interim leader Kim Johnson after former coach Charlie Furney resigned prior to the season.
“We’re playing for coach Furney. We’re really just trying to win for him,” Elias said.
Holt was led by Tony Fuentes and Zach Dowling with rounds of 76. Garrett Dickinson added a 77 and Alex Symborski rounded out the scoring with an 82.
Grand Ledge finished in third as a team at 313. Cam Conley led the Comets with a 76, David O’Neil had a 78, Bubba Chester carded a 79 and Pat Powers finished with an 80. Catholic, Grand Ledge and Petoskey were the only three teams in the field with all five scores at 83 or lower.
Mason senior Jason Brandt was the lowest local finisher, tying for first with Traverse City West’s Alex Scott at 73.
“All the hard holes were really hard because they were into the wind, but all the easy holes were downwind so you had to make the best of your situation there,” Brandt said.
Brandt was a Division 2 individual state qualifier last year as a junior.
“I played a lot of tournaments before high school. My freshman year when I played in my first match, I felt comfortable. I’ve always felt comfortable on the team,” Brandt said. “But this year I feel especially comfortable because I’m a senior and I might as well have fun since it’s my last year.”
Tristan Brunst, who beat Brandt for medalist honors last year at regionals on Mason’s home course of Eldorado and tied for ninth at the Division 2 state tournament, was close behind with a 77 on Monday for the Bulldogs.
Playing their first season in the CAAC Red, Mason took fourth as a team with a score of 320.
East Lansing and Traverse City West tied for fifth with 321, followed by Petoskey (322), St. Johns (325), DeWitt (326) and Okemos (333) to round out the top 10. In all, 19 teams from across the state participated.