Grand Island Senior High won its first tournament of the season Friday at the G.I. Invitational at Jackrabbit Run Golf Course.
The Islanders shot a season’s best 325 with Lincoln Pius X second at 339.
“I’m really happy,” Grand Island coach Kelli Jeffries said. “Not only did our top five play pretty well, but our second group of kids were right there too. All in all, we’ve played at some really tough courses and I’ve felt like we haven’t played as well as we wished this year. Something like this is what we needed to kind of get us going.
“We had a little home-course advantage today and took advantage of it, which is what you have to do.”
Grand Island’s Tori Peers finished second with a 77, just one stroke behind medalist Elizabeth O’Doherty of Lincoln East. G.I.’s Abbie Otto was fifth with a 79 and Leah Uhing seventh with an 82 despite triple bogeys on each of the first two holes.
“Honestly, I’ve been waiting for a couple of kids — Tori and Abbie — they need to get down in the 70s,” Jeffries said. “They got there today.”
Jeffries was also happy with Uhing’s performance.
“Leigh Uhing, to have a triple-triple on her first two holes and still shoot an 82, that’s great,” Jeffries said. “She is kind of a long hitter and strikes the ball really well, so I was looking for her to score well. Thirty-nine on the back is a good score for her.”
The Islanders also had an 87 from Gabby Kunzman and a 94 by Abby Bills. G.I. had three golfers on the Purple team: Sidny Harris 92, Sydney Dowding 96 and Camilla Hankansson 97.
“Kind of the whole key to our team is six, seven, eight players that are breaking 50,” Jeffries said. “I had eight players play today. All of them broke 100 and two of them broke 80, so I’m pretty happy with that. This could be a good spring-board into the second half of the season.”
Grand Island will see some of these same teams next week at the Capital City Invitational Thursday in Lincoln.
“There is no let up,” Jeffries said. “It’s good to play well today, but next week you’re starting over. It’s consistency. Bringing those scores down and consistently shooting where you need to be is what you’re trying to do.
“Sometimes you take some steps back, but this was definitely a step forward for us.”
Grand Island Invitational
Grand Island Senior High 325, Lincoln Pius X 339, Lincoln East 347, Norfolk 350, Lincoln Southeast 362, Columbus 367, Beatrice 369, Hastings 371, Lincoln Southwest 385, Fremont 414, Lincoln Northeast 417, Lincoln North Star 421, Kearney 424.
Top 15 Individuals
1, Elizabeth O’Doherty, Lincoln East, 76; 2, Tori Peers, Grand Island, 77; 3, Chloe Foote, Lincoln East, 77; 4, Maddie Koenig, Lincoln Pius X, 79; 5, Abbie Otto, Grand Island, 79; 6, Ellie Walstad, Lincoln Southeast, 82; 7, Leigh Uhing, Grand Island, 2; 8, Danielle Havekost, Beatrice, 83; 9, Kenzie Essley, Norfolk; 10, Maidson Romjue, Lincoln Southeast; 11, Ellie Wiltfong, Lincoln Southwest, 84; 12, Lauren Licking, Hastings, 84; 13, Samantha Beal, Columbus, 86; 14, Kelsey Benes, Lincoln Pius X, 87; 15, Sydney Roenfeldt, Norfolk, 87.
Other Grand Island scores — Gabby Kunzman 87, Sydni Harris 92, Abby Bills 94, Sydney Dowding 96, Camilla Hankansson 97.