LAWRENCE — The neatly cropped greens and plush fairways of Alvamar Country Club is its trademark.
It’s also the reason why it’s a difficult course to play, as Great Bend High School’s Tanner Neeland and Jeff Keenan found out first-hand Monday during the Class 5A state golf tournament.
Although Neeland, who finished at 91, and Keenan, who carded 92, fell off the pace, both golfers will have some good memories from their first state experience.
“It’s long and it’s tight,” Great Bend head coach Troy Stein said of Alvamar. “The greens are tricky. I don’t think there’s a flat spot on any of them. Considering all of that, I was pleased with the way they played. It was a par-72, and if they would have shot 90, that’s bogey golf and they were pretty close to that.
“I know that they would have rather shot in the 80s, but it’s a tough course. Tanner had a few pars, and Jeff had a birdie on a par-5. He had a putt for an eagle on it. Too many bogeys was the major problem today.”
Playing on the biggest stage for the first time can bring out all kinds of emotions.
“It’s a big tournament and there’s 96 kids,” Stein said. “When you make it to that point, you’re not playing against anybody.
“There’s some pretty good golfers there, and that can be a little bit intimidating. There are nerves, and it’s a big deal to play in a state tournament.”
— Mack McClure
Class 5A State Golf Tournament
Alvamar Country Club
1. Wichita-Kapaun Mt. Carmel, 313; 2. St. Thomas Aquinas, 318; 3. Seaman, 325; 4. Blue Valley-Stilwell, 335; 5. Shawnee Heights, 336; 6. Wichita Carroll, 338; 7. Blue Valley Southwest, 338; 8. Hays, 349; 9. Newton, 350; 10. Salina Central, 356; 11. Shawnee Mill Valley, 366; 12. Winfield, 367
1. Stevens, Kapaun, 71; 2. Hargrave, Salina South, 71; 3. McHenry, Shawnee Heights, 73; 4. Mays, Blue Valley Southwest, 75, 5. Perry, Topeka West, 76; 6. Heald, Seaman, 77; 7. Williams, Aquinas, 77; 8. Wiltse, Aquinas, 77; 9. Bryan, Winfield, 77; 10. Johnson, Blue Valley South, 78; 11. Hoover, Andover, 79; 12. (tie) Gilbaugh, Kapaun; Auer, Kapaun & Ayers, Newton, 80; 15. (tie) Christenson, Seaman & Stuckenschneider, Aquinas, 81; 17. (tie) Hoefling, Carroll & Burns, Kapaun, 82; 19. (tie) Hummel, Salina South; Atteberry, S. Shaw, Arkansas City; Koester, Carroll; Karney, Blue Valley South; Farrell, Blue Valley Southwest; Romme, Hays; Hilderhof, Aquinas & Kruse, Aquinas 83
Tanner Neeland, Great Bend, 91; Jeff Keenan, Great Bend, 92