Monday, January 30, 2023

Wilson, Brunsman fall short at sectionals

Tyler Wilson and Nick Brunsman knew what to expect when they teed off at the Division II golf sectional at Quail Hollow Golf Course on Monday. They also had a target score in mind that likely would have put them in contention to advance to next week’s district tournament.

Tyler Wilson averaged a 39 per nine holes in 2014

Both shot an 82, just two strokes behind the last individual district qualifier. Only the top three individuals not on one of the three qualifying teams advanced.

“We knew going into it that 80 was kind of the magic score that Tyler and Nick needed to hit and they just missed it,” said Independence coach Mark Echstenkamper. “You knew they were going to get some good scores but it came down to individually what scores the kids not on those three teams were going to put up. It was 75, 77 and 80. Last year, I think it was an 82. You never know what it’s going to be.”

As a team, the Blue Devils finished seventh with a score of 369. Alec Jendre shot 100, Joe Rydzinski finished with 105 and Joe Zamborsky carded a 107.

“It’s just disappointing,” Echstenkamper said. “With a sectional like this, it’s who is hot on that one day. It comes down to who plays the best that one day. They weren’t able to get that magic score today.”

Both golfers struggled at times with each recording double bogey on a par 5.

“You’re playing against the course and they each had a couple of three putts,” Echstenkamper said. “Tyler had a couple holes that got away from him. That’s all it takes when there’s that fine of a line. You have to play clean golf all the way through. They played good golf most of the round but suddenly you go from 80 to 82 and that’s all it takes.”

Wilson, who averaged a 39, and Brunsman, who was in the 40 or 41 range, nearly ended up competing against each other in a playoff to determine the final individual district qualifier.

As it turned out, a late score came in knocking both out of contention.

“At one point we thought they were going to have to play off against each other to get the third spot. They were not looking forward to that situation,” Echstenkamper said. “I feel bad for them. They both had great years. We’re a small Division II team, just a couple kids over the line. If we were in Division III, who knows what they’d do?”

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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