Tough conditions led to higher than normal scores but Independence’s golf team combined to shoot 363 to finish third at the Division III sectional tournament at Pine Hill Golf Course in Hinckley on Wednesday and earned a spot in next week’s district tournament at Tannenhauf Golf Club in Alliance.
Nick Brunsman led the Blue Devils with an 82 and Tyler Wilson was one stroke behind him at 83. Andrew Teribery carded a 98 and Bobby Roddy rounded out the Blue Devils’ score card with an even 100.
“We’re happy to move on,” said Independence coach Mark Echstenkamper. The conditions were tough. It rained a lot the night before so it was very wet. The fairways were very soft and the rough was pretty high and wet. It was tough conditions with a misty rain almost the entire round so the scores were high across the board in the tournament.”
Brunsman was one over par on the final hole of the tournament and Wilson hit just three greens in regulation, but both managed to finish among the top five golfers.
“Nick and Tyler were their normal pretty solid self,” Echstenkamper said. “Both of them would say they weren’t happy with their round. Tyler said he hit three fairways but he still made it to 83. Nick did a really nice job. He bogeyed the last hole, so he’s not happy with that. Our guys did what they had to do to get to the next level at districts.”
Wilson focused on each individual shot to get through the tough round.
“I concentrated on avoiding big numbers,” he said. “I realized everyone was in the same situation and kept on sawing wood. I’m relieved after having to scramble my way around the course and excited to go down as a team. Hopefully we can put up some good scores and see how it goes from there.”
Echstenkamper was confident he’d get two of his three remaining golfers to score well enough to punch Independence’s ticket to districts. Joey Zamborsky didn’t score but he finished with a 103.
“Joey Zamborsky is capable of shooting better as well,” Echstenkamper said. “I thought out of the three of them we could have gotten two scores at least in the low 90s or even the upper 80s. That would have made a huge difference. We could have been pushing Kirtland. They had a 340, a nice score, but we could have played a lot better. We lived to play another day and hopefully next week we’ll get it together and play better.”
Kirtland won the sectional title with a 340 followed by second place Hillsdale with a 351.