Bobcat golfers bound for glory
Chad Harvey wasn't sure how his team would respond to adversity Saturday.
The Basehor-Linwood golf team entered their first tournament of the year competing with wind gusts of 25-30 miles per hour and a soggy course at the Sunflower Hills Invitational.
The inclement weather didn't deter BLHS, which placed four golfers in the top 10 and finished second as a team.
"Saturday the conditions were so tough because of the wind," Harvey said. "I told the kids, we are going to have as much fun as we can. They got out on the range beforehand. They tried to keep the ball out of the wind."
Harvey told his golfers to hit the driving range before the tournament and work on their knock-down shot.
"You shorten your back swing (during the knock-down shot) and then you can speed up in the down swing to keep the ball lower and out of the wind," Harvey said. "A lot of them had practiced it before, but not a whole lot because it hadn't been this windy before. Everyone practiced it before the tournament and they told me after that it really helped. It screwed a few of them up in the beginning, but then it clicked."
Sam Mustain shot an 89 and finished fourth.
"He had been struggling with his swing," Harvey said. "It has taken him a little longer than he thought to get his timing down. Everything fell right on Saturday. His desire to win had the most to do with it."
Chris Douglas shot a 92 and came in sixth.
"He started out sluggish because of wind, but everything came together," Harvey said.
BLHS's coach was pleased with both.
"For a sophomore and junior to play against those conditions and have success like that says a lot about their character," Harvey said.
Tanner Swafford and Toby Moody rounded out the top-10 by finishing eighth and tenth, respectively. Swafford shot a 93 and Moody shot a 95.
As a team, BLHS finished just five strokes behind the tournament's winner Lansing.
Harvey was happy about the team's performance but was hesitant to point to it as a sign that this could be a defining season.
"I don't want to read into the first tournament," Harvey said. "Obliviously it isn't the best that they can play. They know what they need to work on, especially around the green."
The junior varsity played on Thursday, also at Sunflower Hills, during a 9-hole varsity tournament. Harvey said he moved the JV team into the slot because he had scheduled nine tournaments, of which the varsity could only participate in eight.
"The junior varsity team really surprised me because I had two freshman stand out," Harvey said. "Bobby Courtney shot a 48 and was three strokes away from meddling in his first tournament ever. Jake Hattock was on pace for 47, but blew up on the last hole and shot a 50. Even so, in his first tournament, 50 is great."
All in all, it was a great opening week for BLHS golf.
"They all want to win," Harvey said. "They are very competitive. They are going to be the kind of group that goes out every time thinking that they can win. It's nothing special that I am doing. I stumbled into a special group of kids."