THS golf grabs second title of season at Atchison
Chieftains post 312 to tie school record
With its second team title of the season, Tonganoxie High’s golf team continued setting new standards for the program Thursday at the Atchison Invitational.
The Chieftains tied a program record low with a team score of 312 and edged Kansas City Christian by one stroke for a championship at Bellevue Country Club.
A year ago, THS won its first tournament title in school history at the Sunflower Classic, but couldn’t finish better than second at any other event. Tonganoxie reached new ground Thursday by earning its second first-place finish of the season at Atchison.
The Chieftains accomplished the feat with three golfers scoring 80 or lower. Junior Colby Yates won his first individual title of the season, shooting a 70, which was one under par. Junior Tanner Hale took sixth place with a 78 and freshman Drew Sandburg was ninth overall with 80 strokes.
Not far off that pace was sophomore Aaron Williams, who finished at 84. THS coach Jared Jackson said posting four solid numbers allowed Tonganoxie to succeed.
“The team is starting to put together four good scores. Earlier in the year we would get two good scores, but couldn't find our three and four,” the coach said. “The last two tournaments we have gotten good production from our three and four spot. Every good team usually has a solid one and two, but the three and four is what separates the good teams.”
Low scores from Yates, Hale, Sandburg and Williams helped the Chieftains tie a school record for lowest team score, which was set last season at the Perry-Lecompton Invitational. The team’s previous low for 2011 was 324 at the Lansing Invitational on April 11. Jackson said 312 was eight strokes better than what he considers to be a solid score that will usually put a team in contention.
“I always look at 320 as a good team score. To do that we have to average 80 per golfer,” Jackson said. “Anything below 320 gives you a great chance of winning, while anything above lessens your chance. When our top three shoot 80 or better it gives us a great shot to break 320.”
To that point, THS finished one stroke ahead of K.C. Christian and 11 strokes in front of third-place Piper.
Jackson said ideal playing conditions led to lower scores.
“Part of the reason is that golfers are finally getting some good weather (in which) to practice and play and are starting to reach their peak,” he said.
Tonganoxie’s team title at Atchison came one week after a second-place finish at the Spring Hill Invitational, which Jackson said was a good sign. The Chieftains, after winning their season-opening tournament, finished fifth, second and sixth at their next three events.
“We have played at our potential for two tournaments in a row for the first time all season,” the coach said. “Earlier in the season there were signs we would get to this point, but we just weren't consistent.”
At 3 p.m. Thursday, THS will play at the Perry-Lecompton Invitational, the team’s last tournament of the regular season.
Thursday at Bellevue Country Club, Atchison
Team scores: 1. Tonganoxie, 312; 2. Kansas City Christian, 313; 3. Piper, 323.
THS results: 1. Colby Yates, 70; 6. Tanner Hale, 78; 9. Drew Sandburg, 80; Aaron Williams, 84; Tyler Hall, 88; Kody Campbell, 91.