OGALLALA — In a final tune-up for next week’s district tournaments, many local golf teams fared well at the Ogallala Invitational held Thursday at West Wind Golf Course in Ogallala.
Despite taking only four golfers, Scottsbluff managed a runner-up finish with a 322. The Bearcats finished 22 shots behind defending Class B state champion McCook, who recorded a blistering, season-low 300.
For Scottsbluff, the second-place finish marked the seventh time in nine tournaments this spring in which the Bearcats placed in the top two.
“We wanted to use this tournament to get a little momentum going into districts and I think that happened today,” Scottsbluff coach Mike Klein said. “Our top three all had nice rounds and Grant Lacey played well on the hard side for us at No. 4.
“McCook played about as good as they could because that’s a pretty good score. It really kind of came out of nowhere for them, but that happens. You get those days when everything just goes right for everybody.”
Andrew Holloway paced Scottsbluff with a season-best round of 69. The junior shot a 34 on the front and followed that up with a 35 on the back.
Michael Hadden joined Holloway in medalist contention with a fourth-place finish. Hadden carded a pair of 38s in totaling a 76.
McCook accounted for the other two places in the top 4. Sean Backer won the individual title with a 67 and Mack Alspaugh placed third with a 74.
Scottsbluff’s Curtis Welsh finished just one shot out of the top 10 with an 81. Also for the Bearcats, Lacey ended with a 96.
“Andrew had a really nice round and Michael played really well,” Klein said. “Curtis shot in the range he normally shoots so that was fine for him. It’s going to come down to our four and five guys at districts. Somebody’s going to have to shoot somewhere around the mid to high 80s for us to qualify as a team. If that doesn’t happen, then it’s going to make it tough.”
The Bearcats were without freshman Koy Potthoff, who stayed home sick. Potthoff normally plays the fourth position.
Scottsbluff also will have to play the rest of the season without John Tolomeo, who broke his hand during a tournament in Gothenburg a couple weeks ago.
Two other local golfers finished in medalist contention Thursday. Kimball’s Todd O’Hare placed sixth with a 78 and Sidney’s Austin Miller finished ninth with an 80.
Sidney, Gering and Gothenburg all tied for third in the team standings with a 333. Kimball placed seventh with a 339, Alliance was ninth with a 352 and Chadron finished 12th with a 365.
Many of the field’s same teams will reconvene for the Class B, District 4 Tournament on Tuesday in McCook. Scottsbluff will be going for its third straight district title.
“It’s a hard golf course. It’s a ball striker’s golf course. You have to hit some good shots to get it around there,” Klein said of McCook’s Heritage Hills Golf Course. “That’s not a problem for our top three guys. Grant’s playing a lot better and Koy’s playing a lot better, but they just don’t have a lot of experience and no experience for a district tournament. So we’ll just have to see what happens. If the top three guys play well, one of those guys can just shoot a halfway decent score. Usually the teams I’ve coached are pretty focused for districts and they make themselves play good.”
The Class C, District 5 Tournament will be held Monday back in Ogallala.
The Class D, District 5 Tournament will also be held Monday at Oregon Trail Golf Course in Sutherland.
The top three teams and top 10 individuals in each district tournament qualify for the state tournament, which will be held May 22-23 in Kearney and North Platte.
McCook 300, Scottsbluff 322, Sidney 333, Gothenburg 333, Gering 333, Cozad 338, Kimball 339, Ogallala 340, Alliance 352, Perkins County 355, Chase County 363, Chadron 365, Hershey 384, Ogallala JV 409
Individual Top 10
1, Sean Backer, McCook, 67. 2, Andrew Holloway, Scottsbluff, 69. 3, Mack Alspaugh, McCook, 74. 4, Michael Hadden, Scottsbluff, 76. 5, Jeramie Van Acker, Gothenburg, 76. 6, Todd O’Hare, Kimball, 78. 7, Tyler Zoellner, Ogallala, 78. 8, Alan Goodenberger, McCook, 79. 9, Austin Miller, Sidney, 80. 10, James Mitnik, McCook, 80.
Local Individual Team Scoring
Alliance — Nick Maser, 80; Ryan Taylor, 89; Devan Oligmueller, 91; Logan Dietrich, 92; Parker Cyza, 92. Chadron — Brenton Bauerkemper, 85; Alec Burk, 86; Josh Wild, 95; Calan Johnson, 99. Gering — Colton Keller, 81; Derek Plegge, 82; Kyle Hemphill, 83; Reggie Reyes, 87; Austin Kaufman, 90. Kimball — Todd O’Hare, 78; Henry Heeg, 85; Jeff Greenwood, 87; Landon Smith, 89; Caleb Reuter, 94. Scottsbluff — Andrew Holloway, 69; Michael Hadden, 76; Curtis Welsh, 81; Grant Lacey, 96. Sidney — Austin Miller, 80; Taylor Barton, 81; Brendon Brown, 83; Ryan Lococo, 89; Conor Lococo, 93.