By BRETT MARSHALL
SYRACUSE — Verl Seger understands all too well how the mental side of golf can play with a player's mind.
"If you can get the positive aspect of the game, the game will come to you," the Ulysses Lady Tigers golf coach said after his team squeaked out a 3-shot victory Thursday at Tamarisk Golf Course in the Syracuse Invitational. "This game is so mental that if you're negative, your game will just go."
Seger's squad used the positive attitude to record a team total of 204 for the rain-shortened tourney that was also beset with cold temperatures hovering around 40 degrees and wind that gusted between 15 and 25 miles per hour much of the afternoon before the coaches decided to reduce the event to just nine holes.
"I just wanted to see a positive attitude, a positive response from the girls today no matter what," Seger said.
The three-shot margin over Syracuse came principally because his sixth player, Whitney Seger (Verl Seger's niece) shot a season-best 48 which was low for the team.
"I've known all along that she's capable of that," Seger said of his niece. "I'm glad we played the nine holes because we know we're going to get some bad weather at regionals. You've just got to find a way to keep your hands, head and feet warm in weather like this."
While the Lady Tigers were relishing their team victory, Syracuse's Kamie Rash continued to steamroll through the competition.
The Lady Bulldog senior cruised to medalist honors with a 4-over-par 40 in the difficult conditions, six shots clear of runner-up Maggie Hilbig of Lakin, whose 46 was two shots ahead of Seger and and Hugoton's Camrie Sheets.
For Rash, it marked her fourth individual title in five events this season. She has also won at Goodland, Ulysses and the Holcomb Invitational (at The Golf Club at Southwind) while placing in a tie for fourth at the Garden City High School Invitational at Buffalo Dunes where she finished behind Garden's Mackenzie Thayer and the number one players from both Hays and Dodge City.
"It was wet and windy, but it wasn't a heavy rain, just a mist," Rash said. "The temperature wasn't that bad and I actually wouldn't have minded playing more. You've just got to layer your clothing the right way and still have your swing."
Rash said her ball-striking was decent but she credited her short game again for keeping her score low.
"I had a couple of key up-and-downs and that saved me," Rash said.
The Syracuse tournament was the final regular season competition for high school girls. Regional tournaments will be on Monday at various sites with Class 3-2-1A schools (Lakin, Syracuse, Holcomb, Sublette) traveling to Goodland to compete at Sugar Hills Country Club while Class 4A schools (Ulysses, Hugoton) at at Colby. State tournaments are on Oct. 19, Class 4A at The Highlands in Hutchinson and 3-2-1A at Lake Barton Golf Course in Great Bend.
See results in Scoreboard, Page B2.