On a blustery day in Salina, the Manhattan High boys’ golf team managed to win despite playing their best golf.
The winds at Salina Municipal were howling all day, making a normal day of golf next to impossible. That meant higher than normal scores, but still a team victory by the Indians.
Manhattan finished in first with a 321, with Newton right behind with a 323 and Salina Central with a 325.
David Woods led the Indians with a 77 and third place individually, with Cole Dillon and Drew Casper each carding a 78 to tie for fourth. Scott Woods and Drew Kohlmeier each finished at 88, with Pierson McAtee rounding out the scoring with an 89. Newton’s Lane Pauls was the top medalist in the tournament, carding a five-over-par 75 to take first.
“For that kind of day, I’m not displeased,” coach Brad Ficke said. “I think the guys were a little disappointed, especially Scott, but guys were just having trouble finding their balls because the wind was taking them so far over. It just becomes a different game.
“But a win is a win. We’ve got to play 10-15 strokes better than that if we’re going to compete in our league.”
Ficke said the wind changed the way the game was played, while making a nice day into a cold one after a few hours of unrelenting gusts.
“It was gusting 35 to 40 miles per hour,” he said. “It was significantly windier there than it was driving back in, not to mention I kept checking my phone and it said it was 66 and feels like 66, but there were people with stocking caps and gloves - it was a pretty miserable day.”
Ficke said among the 11 teams, only four sent their true varsity squads to the meet on Friday. Originally scheduled for Monday, weather forced the postponement to later in the week, which pushed back the start for the varsity’s first competition.
In the end, it was worth the wait for the Indians, even if the scores were much lower on at this same meet last year.
“Last year, David Woods shoots 67 instead of 77, so that’s 10 strokes right there,” Ficke said. “You can’t expect them to shoot that every time, but we have the potential to go a lot lower than that.”
Weather permitting, the Indians will host their lone meet of the season on Monday at 2 p.m. at the Manhattan Country Club. The Indians won last year’s home meet finishing six strokes ahead of Shawnee Heights behind a third-place 75 from Cole Dillon.