THS golf 6 strokes behind Hayden at Lansing
Tonganoxie High’s golf team ran into one of the top squads in Class 4A Monday at the Lansing Invitational and held its own.
Though the Chieftains finished in second, behind Topeka-Hayden, at Leavenworth Country Club, THS coach Jared Jackson said it was a good sign that Tonganoxie finished just six strokes behind the Wildcats.
“Going into this season, I would put Hayden as probably the number one team in 4A in the state,” Jackson said of the program that finished second at state in 2010 and last won a 4A championship in 2008. “If you’re six strokes back, you’ve got a chance.”
Junior Colby Yates posted Tonganoxie’s lowest score Monday with a 75 and finished in second place for the third time this season. Jackson said Yates’ consistency and his ability to adapt sets him apart.
“It was fairly windy,” the coach said of Monday’s conditions, “ and he was able to control the ball at a better level than some others. That makes a big difference.”
Sophomore Aaron Williams also greatly helped the Chieftains with an 81, good enough for eighth place. Jackson said he saw a difference in Williams last week at practice and it showed on the course at the Lansing Invitational.
“I think Aaron finally got to the place we knew he could get to,” Jackson said.
THS junior Tanner Hale was just two strokes behind Williams with an 83. A third-year varsity golfer, Hale, Jackson said, finished with a score indicative of his experience.
“That’s where we expect Tanner to be,” Jackson said. “We expect him to be in the low 80s or break it (80). With practice time, he’ll see the results.”
The coach said the Chieftains are making progress and finishing a close second to Hayden should provide some motivation.
“I’m hoping it kind of gives the kids that hunger,” Jackson said. “We’re right there.”
THS will see Hayden again next week, when the Hayden Invite gets under way at 3 p.m. April 19 at Cypress Ridge Golf Course, in Topeka.
Monday at Leavenworth Country Club
Top 5 teams: 1. Topeka-Hayden, 318; 2. Tonganoxie, 324; 3. Piper, 327; 4. De Soto, 334; 5. Bonner Springs, 361.
THS individual results: 2. Colby Yates, 75; 8. Aaron Williams, 81; Tanner Hale, 83; Drew Sandburg, 85; Tyler Hall, 95; Kody Campbell, 97.