Golfers win playoff to take SWC title
COZAD—Maybe it was the chance to capture the Southwest Conference Cup trophy for the school.
Or maybe it was warm weather for an entire meet.
Gothenburg boys golf coach Don Graham doesn’t know what the magic motivator was, he just hopes it continues.
The Swede golf team shot its best overall score of the season at the SWC meet in Cozad on Friday to finish in a tie for first place with Broken Bow.
“When we were coming in, I saw the scores of our kids who were done and I saw what Broken Bow was doing,” Graham said. “I knew Jackson (Graham) didn’t have a good front nine so I was anxious to see how he was doing on the back.”
When the coach realized his son was one-under-par on the back nine, he knew things had fallen into place for the team.
At the end of the 18-hole event, the Swedes were tied 318-318 with Broken Bow.
“It was pretty exciting,” the coach said.
To break the tie, the Swedes and the Indians put their four scoring players on hole No. 1 for a playoff.
Graham said Broken Bow’s first player shot out of bounds to earn a penalty.
The rest of the players from both teams were clearly in the fairway until everyone thought Trenton Long’s ball fell out of bounds too.
But when they found it, the ball was a couple of feet inside the line.
Jeramie VanAcker, Jackson Graham and Dillon Linegar all shot par on the playoff. Long had a bogey for a team total of 17.
Broken Bow finished with 19 on the hole.
“The kids knew if we pulled out a win, the school would get the SWC Cup,” Graham said. “They concentrated and they cared and they did all they could to win. I think they really didn’t want to let their school down.”
The Swedes finished with three medalists and a fourth lost out on a scorecard playoff.
VanAcker and Jackson Graham each shot 76 on the day to tie for second. VanAcker took the silver on the scorecard tie-breaker.
Linegar shot his all-time personal best of 82 to medal in 11th place.
Long was tied for 14th with golfers from Ogallala and Ainsworth but lost out on the medal places with the scorecard count-back.
“The kids really wanted to perform well and they did,” the coach said. “They took the bull by the horns and went after it. I’m very proud of all of them.”
Graham said the 318 is a decent score and if the Swedes can duplicate it at the district meet on Tuesday in McCook, they have a solid chance of qualifying for state as a team.
“This sure gives us a good feeling heading into district,” he said.
The B-4 district meet begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday.