2018-05-12 / Sports

Island Lakers Golf Team Opens Season on Home Course; Boys Finish Third

By Jacob A. Ball

High school golfers from across the Eastern Upper Peninsula came to Mackinac Island for the first golf tournament of the season Monday, April 30. With most local teams participating, the competition at Grand Hotel’s The Jewel course displayed the experience and talent of the forthcoming season. Weather had cancelled matches scheduled the week before, but Monday morning the conditions were ideal to begin the season. In attendance were golfers from Mackinac Island, St. Ignace, Cedarville, Pickford, DeTour, Engadine, and Newberry. The hosts from Mackinac Island Public School performed well on their home course, with the Lakers boys finishing in third place, and the girls playing with confidence despite minimal experience on the course. The boys finished one point ahead of fourth-place Newberry with a cumulative score of 252 strokes.

Girls Coach Mary Patay said she thought her team did well for their first match. She wants the team to have fun while playing golf, and not put unneeded pressure on themselves.

“There is still plenty of time to improve this season,” Coach Patay said.

Makenna Horricks, a first-year student on the Island, has spent a lot of time on golf courses in her life, and coach Patay said she appeared comfortable walking the fairways and reading greens. She finished the meet in third place with a score of 50 strokes. The other two team members have less experience, but Coach Patay commended the putting of freshman Brooke Dziobak and the driving ability of eighth grader Mabel Styburski. For Dziobak, she said that taking more time on the greens will make her putting even more efficient, while Styburski has developed quite a drive for a young golfer and now needs to focus on putting. Styburski finished with a score of 77 strokes, and Dziobak with 80 strokes.

For the Mackinac Island boys, Coach Gregg Neville was pleased with how the team performed, and is hopeful that their competitiveness will only improve throughout the season. The team was led by freshman Dominic Morse who finished in 13th place with 54 strokes, followed by fellow ninth graders Leon Sehoyan, 58, and Trevor Pereny, 61. When driving from the tee, Coach Neville said he wants them to work on keeping the ball on the fairway and away from the trees.

“That’s what will get them to the next level of the team competition,” he said.

The less experienced Mackinac Island golfers have the advantage of living close to three golf courses, but they had not had the opportunity to practice on the courses this year before Monday. Coach Neville said they did well. Freshman Tristan Greenlee has begun to develop a good swing, according to his coach, and now has to work more on accuracy.

He said Greenlee is getting the ball into the air more often, which is essential for reducing strokes. For seventh grader Aidan Ogle, Monday was his first time playing competitive golf, and his coach said he did well to stay composed and calm throughout the match. Greenlee shot a score of 92, while Ogle finished with 79 strokes in his first match.

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