Coach puzzled by team’s second tourney
Basehor-Linwood girls golf coach Ryan Higgins had a hard time making sense of his varsity team's first two meets.
Back on Aug. 22 the Bobcats shined in the Washburn Rural Invitational, taking third in a field full of bigger schools. Lindsey Fenton, playing in her first high school competition since the state tournament, led the Bobcats with a 50 on the par 34 back nine.
Megan O'Bryan finished right behind her with a strong 53. The tournament only included the final nine holes at the Lake Shawnee Golf Course.
Coming off that tournament the Lady 'Cats had plenty of time to bask in their achievement and prepare for their next tournament, which was Tuesday at Sunflower Hills. That tournament, given that it was against other 4A schools and at the BLHS practice course, should have been another opportunity for the Lady 'Cats to show off their skills, right? Well, not exactly.
BLHS finished ninth out of 12 teams at Tuesday's Piper Invitational, a precipitous drop from their performance two weeks earlier and yet another sign that the game of golf may be one of the most unpredictable sports ever invented.
"It's a little strange because we more than held our own against the 5A and 6A schools," Higgins said. "Then we struggled against our natural competition."
Megan Henley was the only Lady Bobcat to show improvement at Sunflower Hills. Henley doubled the par at the Washburn Rural tournament with a 68, but shot a 116 in her first 18-hole tournament Tuesday.
It wasn't a great round on the par-73 Sunflower Hills, but it was the best on the team. Fenton and Amanda Leive both fired 120. The Lady Bobcats struggled on the greens, leading Higgins to say that they would be spending a lot of time putting in practice this week.
Given the talent they showed in the season-opening meet, Higgins remains optimistic about this season's group of varsity golfers. Besides juniors Fenton and O'Bryan, and seniors Leive and Henley, the squad also includes senior Laura Reed, junior Melanie Racki and freshman Alex Oakes. Racki also competed in a JV tournament on Aug. 30 and was the top placer on a Bobcat team that took fourth overall.
The Lady Bobcats will try to regain the magic they showed in their first tournament next Tuesday. They'll travel to Lawrence to play in the Firebird Invitational, another competition against bigger schools.
Perhaps that's what they need to get them going, another chance to be the underdog and take out some of the big dogs. Higgins just knows that he doesn't want to see another meet like the last one.
"It was the most disappointing tournament of our short history," he said.