COLUMBUS – Kalida shook off a shaky start and rallied on the back nine to find itself in eighth place after the first day of competition of the Division III boys state tournament Friday at The Ohio State University Scarlet Golf Course.
Kalida shot a 354 for the day. Berlin Hiland is in first with 317 followed by Columbus Wellington with a 318. Canton Central Catholic shot a 321 and Brookfield came in with a 323. Gilmour Academy is in fifth place with a 324 and Crooksville is in sixth with a 341. Minster shot a 343 for seventh place and the Wildcats were next with a 354. Fort Loramie (355), Fremont St. Joseph Central Catholic (365) and Botkins (383).
Individually, Josh Recker led Kalida with an 83 and Ryan Klausing carded an 84. Alec Elderbrock came in with a 93, followed by Justin Siebeneck with a 94 and David Peck with a 95.
For Minster, Grant Voisard shot a 79 followed by Joseph Magoto with an 85. Grant Koenig came in with an 89 and Ethan Lehmkuhl and Jacob Wissman each notched a 90.
“We will try to move up tomorrow,” Kalida head coach Ken Schnipke said. “We didn’t get started out very well. I don’t know if it was the nerves or what. Hopefully we have all the kinks worked out.”
Schnipke joked that he thought they had all the sand shots out of their system but that was not the case as the Wildcat linksters continually found themselves in the deep bunkers that surround the various holes.
Schnipke added that they would go out to eat Friday night and try to regroup for today’s final day.
“It doesn’t matter what they shoot they are going to always want to shoot lower because it is the state tournament,” Schnipke said. “They are a little disappointed right now but we will take them out to eat and get their spirits up and get ready for tomorrow.”
Schnipke added that the players have to go out and perform like they have all year.
“I think they were a little tense today even though they didn’t show it,” Schnipke said. “I mean like Alec (Elderbrock) and David (Peck) are a lot better than what they shot today. They just need to go out and play and do what they do all year.”
Waters tied for 23rd
Temple Christian’s Lincoln Waters also got off to a somewhat inconsistent start but settled in around the fifth hole and finished with a 82. He is tied for 23rd overall.
Waters bogeyed the first hole and then followed it up with a triple and found himself four over. However, a change in strategy and a level head, had the Pioneer senior in a groove for the remaining front nine where he finished with a 41.
“It was rough start when he tripled the second hole but I was really proud of him because after that he shot 1 over and finished with a 41 and that is a nice recovery for him,” Pioneer head coach BJ McPheron said.
Having problems with his driver, McPheron and Waters agreed that he switch to a 5 wood off the tee and it helped him regroup the rest of the round.
McPheron said he probably hit more 5 woods than he had initially planned but it kept him out of trouble and the commitment to that decision proved to be the right choice.
After the triple on hole No. 2, Waters told himself to get that bad hole out of his head and refocus.
“The goal was to get that out of my head and start hitting the fairways on my drives,” Waters said. That is my go-to club (the 5 wood) when I get in trouble. I can get it out there around 250 and that is well enough for this course.”
Waters recorded a birdie on No. 5 and that seemed to bolster his confidence.
On the back Waters shot an identical 41.
“If you would have told him he would finish with an 82 on day one he would have taken it,” McPheron said. “Obviously you always want better but after being 4 over through two that is a great round.”
McPheron added that if he can get his drives under control he will have the chance to improve on his first day score.
Waters said for day two he wants to slow down his game.
“I just need to play like I did at the end at the beginning,” Waters said.