Nelson, Cameron finish strong at state
Shaky start doesn’t deter LHS golfers
Leawood Chris Nelson's final round as a member of the Lansing High golf team didn't begin quite like he'd planned.
Nelson, a senior and former state medalist, shot a four-over-par nine on his first hole at the Class 5A state golf tournament at Ironhorse Golf Club.
Four other holes got away from him as he notched four double-bogeys and a triple, but Nelson didn't let that spoil his round completely. As he approached his second-to-last hole, Nelson declared he finish with a flurry and birdie the last two holes.
He almost made that happen. He birdied the first when his second-shot chip landed about five feet from the hole and led to an easy putt. Then he nearly matched that on the final hole. but his birdie putt came up just short.
Still, birdie-par wasn't bad as he closed out his prep career with an 86.
"Obviously after the first hole I tried to forget about that one because last year I started off the same way," Nelson said of the nine to start his day. "There weren't really any nerves today. My swing just wasn't feeling that good, but I played really well on the back for a little bit and I finished pretty strong with a birdie-par, almost two birdies, so I could be a lot more disappointed than I am right now."
Certainly Nelson's total round wasn't indicative of the way he played throughout his LHS career, but his final nine holes were. He had some rough moments as he double-bogeyed three holes, but he mixed in some moments of brilliance, too, such as when he rattled off three pars and a birdie during a four-hole run that put him back in the running for a medal. Then there were his final two holes when he shot well off the tee, used his irons effectively and knocked down his putts.
"I finished somewhat strong," Nelson said, "so I can take the positive out of that."
Andrew Cameron's state experience also was frustrating in many ways, but just like Nelson, Cameron said he knew he played about 13 solid holes. It was the five that got away from him that took him out of medal contention and led to his 18-hole score of 93.
Cameron went bogey, double-bogey, quadruple-bogey, double-bogey on his first four holes. After that he settled down and played steady as he knocked in six pars and a birdie the rest of the way. He had only one bad hole on the back nine - No. 15 - where he took a nine on the par-four. He followed that with a pair of pars, however.
"It's a tight course, and I had trouble keeping it in bounds," Cameron said. "I lost quite a few balls today. Those are the holes that shot my score up. If I could have taken away, maybe got off with a bogey on a couple of those holes, I would've shot low 80s, high 70s."
Perhaps the highlight of the day for Cameron came on No. 18. He bogeyed the hole, but his chip from 140 yards out landed less than a foot from the pin. Cameron tapped in the easy putt and closed out his season on a high note.
"It was definitely a learning experience," said Cameron, an LHS junior. "I hope to work twice as hard and shoot somewhat decent next year."
Cameron will be Lansing's top returner next year, but a crop of experienced players will return to the Lions for 2006. Among them will be seniors-to-be Javen Kelly and Max Kozak, juniors-to-be Stefan Froelich and Ted Haugland, and sophomore-to-be Maria Jackson.