By JIM MISUNAS
CHENEY — Third-place Class 3A state golf finisher Hoisington High and fourth-place finisher Larned High had battled back-and-forth all season.
The Cardinals (392) beat the Indians (397) for the third place state trophy behind defending champion Caney Valley (372) and runner-up Hays-Thomas More Prep (390) in Monday’s Class 3-1A state golf tournament played in winds gusting past 30 mph.
The wind played havoc from tee-to-green, but particularly on the undulating greens, which made consistent putting an adventure.
Larned’s Dorothy Keenan finished fourth (90) after a ninth-place finish last year. Keenan twice held leads on eventual champion Karee Dinkel of TMP (85). Keenan built a four-stroke lead on the front nine and held a three-stroke edge after 11 holes. But Keenan lost momentum when he carded an 8 at the 13th hole after hitting into a water hazard.
Hoisington’s Delaney Smith (85) and Sydney Boxberger (95) tied for 11th. Madi Wilborn (98) placed 14th and Karisa Schremmer (104), Jaci Schremmer (108) and Hadleigh Gardner (115) all contributed. It was the Cardinals’ best finish since a second-place finish in 2011. They bettered their 18-hole average of 396.
“We placed third and almost placed second. All our girls contributed. The girls all played well and competed in difficult conditions. In 36 years of coaching, I’ve never seen greens this quick on undulating greens,” said Hoisington coach Bruce Cooper, who said all his girls had three-putt greens. “The greens are larger than the girls are used to playing. We had to deal with long putts. We handled the wind for the most part. Four of the five teams were from the western side.”
Keenan said she never quite got adjusted to the speed of the greens. But she slipped after a carding an 8 at the 13th hole after her only missed drive of the day. She finished with a trio of three putts and a four-putt on the back nine. At one point, she hit three greens in regulation, but finished 4-over-par. Keenan’s putter betrayed her down the stretch with a pair of three putts and a four-putt green at No. 17. She was one successful putt away from contending.
“Everything up to the greens was good for me today. The greens obviously got away from me on the back nine. I didn’t handle the greens,” Keenan said. “You always hope to play great, but you never know what’s going to happen.”
Larned’s Emma Ayre (101) placed 16th. Others contributing were Haley Skelton (103), Madison Gleason (103), LeAnn Peterson (118) and Jaicee Walker (124).
Larned coach Toni Notovny said she was proud of her team for competing well on a extremely windy day.
“We thought we’d be right near the top and we were right there. We placed fourth and that’s pretty good for the state tournament,” she said. “Playing in this type of wind today was not easy. I wears on you playing in the wind. The girls had trouble on the greens with as much wind and as much movement as there was today.”
Notovny said she thought Keenan was one good putt away from regaining her confidence.
“Dorothy never got comfortable on the greens today,” she said. “That one hole got to her, although she parred the next hole.”
CLASS 3-1A STATE GOLF
At Cheney, Cherry Oaks GC
TEAM SCORES—1. Caney Valley 372; 2. Hays-TMP 390; 3. Hoisington, 392 (Delaney Smith 95, Sydney Boxberger 95, Madi Wilborn 98, Karisa Schremmer 104, Jaci Schremmer 108, Hadleigh Gardner 115); 4. Larned, 397 (Dorothy Keenan 90, Emma Ayre 101, Haley Skelton 103, Madison Gleason 103, Leann Peterson 118, Jaicee Walker 124); 5. Syracuse 397; 6. Eureka 406; 7. Cheney 409; 8. Silver Lake 443; 9. Cimarron 468; 10. Council Grove 490; 11. St. Marys 509; 12. Fredonia 517.
MEDALISTS--1. Karee Dinkel, TMP, 85; 2. Paige Price, Caney Valley, 87; 3. Winnie Shaw, Wichita Independent, 89; 4. Dorothy Keenan, Larned, 90; 5. Raegan Boone, Eureka, 91; 6. Laura Geven, Syracuse, 92; 7. Jayd Bentley, Caney Valley, 92; 8. Cortney Gardner, Caney Valley, 93; 9. Amy Akler, Cheney, 93; 10. Nikalya Lampkins, Pretty Prairie, 93; 11. Delaney Smith, Hoisington, 95; Sydney Boxberger, Hoisington, 95; 13. Kate Plunkett, Syracuse, 96; 14. Madi Wilborn, Hoisington, 98; 15. Kendra Gardner, Caney Valley, 100; 16. Emma Ayre, Larned, 101; Roxi Barr, Syracuse, 101; Kylie Young, Cheney, 101; Alison Helget, TMP, 101; 20. Annaka Applequist, TMP, 102; Hannah Michaud, TMP, 102; Jennifer Torrey, Eureka, 102; Jaqueline Strunk, Garden Plain, 102.