Archive for Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Basehor-Linwood boys golf on the rise

May 2, 2012, 2:29 p.m.

Updated: May 3, 2012, 12:00 a.m.

The Basehor-Linwood boys golf team is steadily gaining speed. The Bobcats have lowered team scores in each tournament this season and are mere points away from even better placement.

Take last month, for example. Basehor-Linwood traveled to Osawatomie for a 16-team tournament and placed sixth with a team score of 345, which was its lowest score this season. Three players finished with scores in the 80s and another three in the 90s to keep the Bobcats within seven strokes out of third.

Coach Bruce Courtney said he is seeing weekly improvements throughout his roster after the first five tournaments.

The close competition is no stranger for the Bobcats though, who started the season with a record number of players showing up for tryouts, forcing the first round of cuts in program history.

“They work real hard in practice and that is one of the benefits of having enough kids and a little bit of competition,” Courtney said.

Through the first part of the season, Courtney said his top five players are locked with Chris Blake in the lead followed by Alec Otting, Bret Fritz, Neal Dickinson and Russell Clark. The competition does not hamper traditional team bonding. At a recent practice, a couple of the players challenged each other to a chipping contest where the winner would be rewarded with a McDouble from McDonalds down the road. Courtney said that is one of the things that has been most rewarding to coach this season.

“It has been awesome to be around those kids and help them be successful,” Courtney said. “Hopefully the sky is the limit.”

Courtney attributed some of the recent popularity surge to the success of the neighboring programs and the fact that Basehor-Linwood has sent at least one golfer to state for the past eight seasons. The program also has a league championship in that time.

Though the team is flying under the radar this season, Courtney is confident that his Bobcats have the talent to take the program to a new level. Courtney said that while individual improvements are important this week he has a broader goal for the program as they continue to grow.

“We’ve got to show them ‘don’t forget about us down here,’” Courtney said. “We are getting better.”

At Atchison on April 26, the Bobcats placed fifth at the Bellevue Country Club. Otting gave Basehor-Linwood its best finish individually, placing 10th overall with a score of 78. Blake shot an 86 and Dickinson shot an 89.

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