Cards getting regional ready

Big Rapids fires 415 at annual Tullymore Invitational

STANWOOD — Tullymore always seems to provide a useful measuring stick for the Big Rapids golf team late in the season as the Cardinals prepare for regional competition.

Monday’s Tullymore Invitational featured some of the state’s top programs like Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Central and Holt, as well as teams like Tri County and Cedar Spring, who the Cardinals will see during Oct. 10’s regional at Cedar Chase Golf Course.

TEE OFF: Big Rapids’ Haley McKenna follows through on her tee shot on Monday during the Tullymore Invitational in Canadian Lakes. Big Rapids placed ninth at the invite. (Pioneer photo/Martin Slagter)

TEE OFF: Big Rapids’ Haley McKenna follows through on her tee shot on Monday during the Tullymore Invitational in Canadian Lakes. Big Rapids placed ninth at the invite. (Pioneer photo/Martin Slagter)

The Cardinals finished ninth at Monday’s invitational, carding a 415, leaving the team five strokes behind Tri County and nine strokes behind Cedar Springs — a pair of teams that the Cardinals will need to out-shoot to move on from regionals.

“We wanted to see where we stood in regards to Cedar Springs and Tri County,” he said. “Those are two teams we’re going to see in our regional and obviously we lost to both of them (Monday). Just to know going in, this is where we stand, it gives us an idea of how close we are.”

Kalamazoo Hackett CC won Monday’s invitational with a 361, finishing a stroke ahead of Holt, which was led by medalist Pader Her, who shot an invitational record 69 — 13 strokes better than the previous tournament best.

The Cardinals were led by Alexis Dawkins with a 96, while Molly Schofield shot a 99. Haley McKenna carded a 104 and Jillian Weemaes shot a 116 to round out the scoring.

Chippewa Hills also had a trio of golfers compete at Monday’s invite, with Sara Carte shooting a 115, Megan Beach carding a 128 and Morgan Stroud shooting a 123.

While Monday’s round provided the Cardinals with a sneak preview of some of its regional opponents, Tullymore also tested the team’s short games with challenging greens, Posey said.

“They saw a golf course that had some greens that are going to be similar to the ones we’re going to play at regionals,” he said. “Cedar Chase has some greens that have some good slope and speed to them.”

Dawkins said the extra work put in on the green is going to be valuable for Big Rapids when it competes in regionals, and was a factor again on Monday.

“We’ve all worked really hard during the season,” she said. “I think what’s left to do is just chip and putt. (Coach) Posey has a sheet for us to work on the putting green with. We do that as much as we can.”

While there are still some parts of their game to iron out over the next week, Posey said he feels his team is getting closer to being ready to compete for a top three spot at regionals.

“Mentally, we’re getting close,” he said. “It takes a certain edge coming into a regional. I hope that our schedule has allowed us to get a little bit of an edge. We’ve played a lot of different courses against a lot of good teams. I would hope that when we get a chance to play at regionals and times get tough, we’re able to mentally get over it and continue to try and get that round back.”

 

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