A turn for the west: Tonganoxie High golf now will be competing Wednesday at state tourney in Dodge City

Tonganoxie High boys golf is heading to state as a team for the third consecutive year. THS placed second Monday at a Class 4A regional in Paola. The top three teams from each of the four regionals advance to state, which will be this coming Monday in Winfield. Pictured, front row, from left, are assistant coach Sydney Fraley, Jacob Hall, Adam DeMaranville, Dylan Aitkins and Andrew Willson; back row, from left, Jackson Vorbeck, Noah Skelley and coach Doug Sandburg. Enlarge photo

May 27, 2019

The Tonganoxie High boys golf team will finish what it started last week in competing at the state golf meet — but it will be on a course at the opposite end of the state.

THS started to compete in the Class 4A state tournament May 20 in Winfield, but inclement weather postponed the meet. Officials originally postponed the event until this Tuesday in Winfield, but the event now will take place Wednesday in Dodge City.

Instead of traveling roughly 190 miles for a three-hour trip, the team now is on the road for about 310 miles and a five-hour journey to Mariah Hills Golf Course in Dodge City.

“It’s been a weird spring, and it seems like this is a never-ending state tournament,” said Doug Sandburg, THS golf coach.

The tournament will happen nine days after it originally started. Some golfers were able to get some play in before weather postponed it, but Sandburg said the tournament will start over with an 11 a.m. shotgun start Wednesday.

The tournament starts over because it will be on a different course and will have different conditions.

The delay also means Tonganoxie will be without a couple of its golfers.

Senior Dylan Aitkens and sophomore Noah Skelley won’t be available due to conflicting schedules.

Sandburg said he felt bad for both, especially Aitkens because it was his senior season. He hopes will get the opportunity to compete at state the next two years.

Their absences means THS will have sophomore Spencer Gratton serve as Tonganoxie’s No. 5 golfer heading into the tournament.

A team’s top four scores in the meet are used to determine team scores. If a tiebreaker is needed, officials look at the best No. 5 score between or among tied teams. If No. 5 golfers tie, then the tiebreaker would go to the No. 6 golfer. THS won’t have a No. 6 for this tournament.

Sandburg said the team got back this past Wednesday from Winfield and then got in some practice Thursday and Friday. With it being Memorial Day Weekend, the team didn't have any official practices, but Sandburg said team members were doing some golf work on their own.

"A lot of the boys were taking it upon themselves and got themselves out on Saturday and Sunday and have done a lot of work themselves," he said.

THS leaves at 9 a.m. Tuesday for Dodge City. The team will play a practice round Tuesday as it prepares for the real deal Wednesday.

Tonganoxie qualified for its third straight state tournament earlier this month with its third straight second-place finish at regionals.

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