Big Rapids boys golf places second at D3 state tourney

The Big Rapids boys golf team finished runner-up at the Division 3 golf tournament at Forest Akers West in East Lansing, MI. From left: Head coach Mark Posey, senior Ben Fath, junior Owen Seay, junior Pierce Morrissey, junior Elliot Seay, senior Fletcher Bolda, assistant coach Howard Strom. (Pioneer photo/Maxwell Harden)

EAST LANSING — The Big Rapids and Hanover-Horton boys golf teams entered the final round of the Division 3 state tournament tied at 321.

As fate would have it, the two teams ended up tied in the final round as well.

The Cardinals and the Comets had two-day scores of 651 after the final round of play Saturday at Forest Akers West Golf Course. A fifth-player tiebreaker gave Hanover-Horton the championship and Big Rapids their second-consecutive runner-up trophy.

“We finished second out of 130, 140 schools in our division,” head coach Mark Posey said. “Two years ago we finished third and the past two years we’ve finished second. It says a lot about our guys that we were able to have another chance at a title.

“It hurts because they’re all thinking about that one stroke or that one mistake they made. It’s going to stick with them and that’s good. I hope it does because these guys are stronger than that. It will spur on my juniors as well as the sophomores and freshmen.”

The two schools finished day one of play with the identical score of 321. Junior Pierce Morrissey finished with a final score of 147 (70/77) to take home the individual championship.

“This means everything to me,” Morrissey said. “A team state championship was our biggest goal this year, but the individual championship was one of my personal goals, as well.”

“Pierce is a special kid,” Posey said. “He’s been a great representative of both Big Rapids Public Schools as well as the Big Rapids community. He’s just an all-around great kid. It means a lot to him, his family, and this program.”

Owen Seay was second on the team with 156 (74/82) and Fletcher Bolda was third with 167 (85/82), while Ben Fath’s 181 (92/89) and Elliot Seay’s 188 (97/91) rounded out team scoring.

The weather conditions were lest kind to players on day two with consistent rain showers playing a factor in performance.

“Your grip gets slippery in this type of weather,” Morrissey said. “It’s hard to judge how hard to hit the golf ball. The course played longer, too.”

“This is Michigan golf and they’re used to it,” Posey said. “You’ve heard the stories of playing in the snow and rain and this just goes with it. It’s gonna make you mentally tough. You just have to accept it and move on.”

The runner-up finish will sting more than last year’s but the Cardinals figure to be a contender once again with the return of the brothers Seay and Morrissey. Big Rapids loses four-year varsity members Bolda and Fath to graduation.

“This is a great way to send them out,” Posey said. “You can’t ask for two better seniors. They leave with three regional championships, four conference championships, and three top-three state finishes. They’re great players and we’re going to miss them.”

 

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