Thursday, June 21, 2018
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Golf season ends without state qualifier

GERING—Golf coach Don Graham thought if his team could collectively shave 10 strokes off Gothenburg’s best 18-hole score this season while playing at the B-4 district meet, the Swedes might have a chance to qualify for state as one of the top three teams.

After all, Graham said Monument Shadows Golf Course at Gering offered players a straight-forward and not-too-difficult course for the district meet on May 17.

But as it turned out, the Swede team total didn’t match its best this spring and even if it had, the boys still would have finished outside the top three.

“We knew going in it would be difficult to qualify individually. There are just a whole lot of very good golfers in this district,” Graham said. “We also knew qualifying as a team was going to be tough to accomplish.”

The Swedes shot 353 on the day to finish eighth.

Scottsbluff took the district team title at what Graham called an amazing 296 with McCook in second at 310 and Gering third with 315.

“Those are darned good team scores,” he said.

Scottsbluff and McCook had three players each in the top 10. Individual champion Andrew Holloway of Scottsbluff shot 66 for six strokes under par.

Junior Jackson Graham had Gothenburg’s best score on the day, carding 38 on the front nine and 42 on the back for a total of 80.

He finished 16th overall, six positions out of qualifying for state as an individual.

Junior Jeramie VanAcker was four strokes behind Graham at 84.

“Of course I am always hoping for better,” the coach said, “but I think each kid shot better than his scoring average for the year.”

Weather was a huge factor for the Swede golfers all spring, limiting practice time and hampering meet scores.

“There were a lot of weeks when we barely got in any practice because of the weather,” Graham said. “That makes it tough to work on things.”

The Swedes lose five seniors who each contributed to the team throughout the season but Graham is still hopeful for next year with several players returning to the course.

“We’ll continue to move forward,” he said. “Hopefully we can get some younger kids to play a lot of golf over the summer and gain a little bit of experience so we can come back stronger next spring.”