Chips top 12-team field in first event of season

CHIPPEWA HILLS — The Manistee golf team couldn’t have asked for a better start to its season Friday, as the Chippewas topped the 12-team field in a scramble event held The Royal Golf Course at Canadian Lakes.

Manistee took home the event’s first-place trophy by shooting a combined score of 154, two strokes ahead of runner-up St. Louis.

“We’re really excited about the way this turned out,” said Chippewas coach Mike Swanson. “We were just thankful to be playing golf. It was really windy out there — so the conditions were tough — but the sun came out and we were all smiles when it was done.

“We have a lot of improvements to make, but this was definitely a good way to start the season,” he said. “The coaches are happy, the players are happy and we hope it continues.”

The event’s format was an 18-hole two-player scramble, with each school allowed to play three two-person teams. Each school’s top two team scores were combined for the final total.

Manistee’s Jayden O’Hagan and Rocco Staszczak shot a team-best 75 to combine with teammates Ethan Anderson and AJ Anderson’s 79 for the victory. The Chippewas’ Raven Winter and Neven Johnson shot an 88 that didn’t factor into the total.

O’Hagan and Staszczak’s score tied for third-best overall on the day. St. Louis carded the lowest two-person score of 73.

“This is the only time that we’ll see this (scramble) format,” Swanson said, “but it’s a good way to start, to take the pressure off the kids a little bit so they have some fun and get playing some golf again.”

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