Tonganoxie golf bounces back, takes 2nd place at Spring Hill
The Tonganoxie High golf team displayed its resiliency Thursday at the Spring Hill Invitational.
Two days removed from their worst showing of the season, the Chieftains regrouped and took second place — finishing just one shot behind tournament champion Kansas City Christian — at Sycamore Ridge Golf Course.
Earlier in the week at the Hayden Invite in Topeka, THS had placed sixth and finished with a team score of 346. Tonganoxie shaved 21 strokes off that score 48 hours later at Spring Hill, posting a 325.
The Chieftains’ individual improvements fueled the two-day turnaround. While Colby Yates was steady as ever, taking fourth place with a 74, he was joined in the top 15 at the invitational by three of his teammates: Tanner Hale (83) finished ninth, Aaron Williams (84) took 11th and Drew Sandburg (84) was 14th.
THS coach Jared Jackson was proud to see his team respond to a tough day at Hayden with a good performance at Spring Hill. He said the practice day in between the two tournaments proved to be the team’s best session of the year with the golfers completely focused on improving their games.
Jackson said they didn’t sit down and talk specifically about their disappointment in the results at Hayden.
“The players know the expectations of our program and they were disappointed on Tuesday with the poor showing,” Jackson said, noting the coaches and players have talked previously about how tournament results have a direct correlation with the quality of practices.
The work they put in at practice, the coach said, led to what he considered the team’s best performance of the season at Spring Hill.
“Sycamore Ridge is a tough golf course with trouble everywhere and we really stressed the importance of controlling the ball flight,” Jackson said. “The wind picked up as the day went on and our players were able to adjust their games to fit the conditions.”
Hale and Williams, the coach noted, really grasped a few new shots they worked on at practice and used them effectively on Thursday. THS coaches worked with them on controlling the ball’s flight and they picked it up pretty quickly.
“In high winds they need to be able to hit the ball lower with a more controlled swing,” Jackson said. “At Topeka they had some bad misses, which added to several penalty strokes and the key (Thursday) was to eliminate those higher scores.”
After watching Tonganoxie’s golfers take second place, Jackson said he hopes the strong showing will mark the beginning of some more consistent play for the team.
“We have been up and down each tournament and I would like to see more steady play as we get closer to the postseason,” he said.
At 1 p.m. Thursday, the Chieftains will play at the Atchison Invitational.
Spring Hill Invitational
Thursday at Sycamore Ridge Golf Course, Spring Hill
Top 3 team scores: 1. Kansas City Christian, 324; 2. Tonganoxie, 325; 3. De Soto, 337.
THS results: 4. Colby Yates, 74; 9. Tanner Hale, 83; 11. Aaron Williams, 84; 14. Drew Sandburg, 84; Kody Campbell, 98.