The O’Gorman Knights, with five top 10 finishers, used another strong showing – and a comfortable lead going in – to come away the team champions at the Boys City Golf Meet on Thursday at Willow Run.
O’Gorman’s final round score of 302 put them at 895 for the tourney, 17 shots ahead of Lincoln (912). It was the second-place Patriots, though, who turned in the day’s best team score (294) on the strength of the day’s two lowest. Lincoln’s Tyler Westra fired a one-under 70, while Ben Clarke shot an even-par 71.
“It’s a multi-day tournament. So it’s nice to be able to have a cushion and get beat like we did today, but still come out on top,” said O’Gorman coach Tom Jansa. “In theory, depth is great. Hopefully what it does and what it should do is give everybody the confidence to play as well as they can and know they don’t have to play their best to make things happen for the team.”
O’Gorman sophomore Bryce Hammer finished second in the medalist chase (219) after shooting a 75 on Thursday, and was followed in the top ten by teammates Tony Hayes (fourth; 225), Jacob Otta (fifth; 226), Brenden Bassing (T8; 230) and Justin Kolb (T8; 230).
In the end, nobody could catch up with Washington’s Will Grevlos, whose 1-over 72 cemented individual medalist honors with a three-round total of 213.
“He played a great round. It was pretty windy to start the day, and he started the round with a bogey on number one, which some people would get concerned over,” Washington coach Doug Rinken said, “but he just hangs in there. You know I hate to say you can count on it, but you like to think it’s going to go well for Will. He just plays well when he needs to.”
Grevlos kept a level head to overcome the early bogey with an even-par 35 on the front, and the sophomore got one back on the final hole. Grevlos carried the hazard off the tee on No. 18 – just barely – to set up a wedge into the green, and he sunk the slightly uphill birdie putt from 25 feet out.
“I’m feeling great about my game,” said Grevlos, who entered the day with a two-shot lead over Lincoln’s Luke Rezac. “There were a little more nerves today, so I wasn’t as comfortable. But I got over my shots and focused really well. I just believed in myself that I could be hitting those shots.”
Last year’s fourth-place finisher at state, Grevlos said his signature moment Thursday came on No. 15. Grevlos’ tee shot bent into the trees, but two shots later he used a 3-wood to get to about 70 yards. He went up and down from there to salvage par.
“That was kind of a pivotal moment in the round for me,” Grevlos said. “That definitely was a key hole in determining my score today.”
As a team the Warriors turned in the best round of their season (309), just seven shots back from O’Gorman on the day, to finish third at 950.
Lincoln’s Westra moved up to sixth place (227) in the medalist standings after the low-round Thursday, while Rezac finished alone in third (221) after firing a 78. Clarke (232) finished tenth.
With the Metro Conference Meet – a one day tournament – coming next week, the Patriots hope Thursday’s effort is a prelude to continued success.
“When I talked to these guys at school, they really wanted to play today. Rain or shine,” said Lincoln coach Jeff Halseth. “Golf is a mental game and these guys were positive today. … It’s rounds like this that show what we’re capable of doing.”
Fourth-place Roosevelt (969) was led by eighth-grader Jack Lundin, who finished seventh (228) after shooting 79.
Thursday’s conditions stayed mostly dry, but the wind and cold serve as a decent prelude to the state tournament Oct. 5-6 at Meadowbrook Golf Course in Rapid City.
“What happens at the state tournament for the boys is, you get into October and the weather is certainly a factor. And course conditions are tougher and all those things,” Jansa said. “Just getting them calibrated into not shooting for a number but just playing as best you can — not predetermining a what a good score is and just letting the number take care of itself — that’s our mission.”