Tuesday's golf Crossover cancelled; Buffs finish in 13th

3/12/2014

By J. LEVI BURNFIN

lburnfin@gctelegram.com

High winds caused Tuesday's final round of the Central Region Crossover at Buffal Dunes gold course to be cancelled with six to 10 holes left to play, leaving the Garden City Community College men's golf team in 13th place after scores reverted to Monday's 36-round total.

The Broncbusters were one of only a pair of two-year colleges in the meet, along with Dodge City, out of 16 schools, as the Busters shot a team score of a 39-over-par 615, 304 on the first 18 and 311 on the final 18.

"I thought we played really well as a team, relative to where we were at the start of the year," new head coach Matt Christian said. "But there was room to grow. Second 18, we didn't really play up to our standards."

The Colorado School of Mines (CSM) dusted the rest of the competition, scoring a 573 (280-293), 3 under, beating second-place Colorado State-Pueblo (294-294—588) by 15 strokes. Dodge City shot a 596, with rounds of 296 and 300, to finish in 10th.

The Busters, though, were led by Matthew LeGrange, who shot a 7-over-par 151, scoring a 1-under 71 in the first round, but falling back to 

an 8-over 80 in the final 18.

"I thought Matt played extremely well," Christian, who was hired in January to head both the men's team and the women's team, which will begin play in the 2014-15 season, said. "He had to qualify to get on our team this week for our fifth spot. And he earned it, and he deserved to be on it."

Christian noted that the challenge from his teammates pushed LeGrange to get better.

"I think you saw it in that first round," Christian said, "where he shot 71."

CSM's Michael Lee held on to the individual title with a 5-under 139 (67-72). The school had four of the top 10 individual finishers, even though Kyle Miley's tie for 10th place at 143 (73-70) did not count towards the team score because he was the designated sixth golfer for the Diggers.

Dodge City's Zach Kirby took second with a 140 (69-71), the highest two-year school finisher.

Rounding out the individual scores that were used in the team results for the Busters were Nathan Forest, shooting a 153 (78-75) for a tie for 49th, Alex Piper (78-78—156) in a tie for 60th, Sam Cooney (77-83—160) tied for 74th, and Lane Sherer (83-78—161), who was tied for 78th out of 90 golfers.

The designated sixth man for the Busters, Boone Wells, was the third-best golfer for the Busters, scoring a 155 with rounds of 74 and 81.

"I think he's trying to tell me, 'look I'm earning these spots,'" Christian said about Wells, who has been battling for the fifth scoring spot the last couple of weeks.

The tournament was originally scheduled for 54 rounds, but Tuesday's final 18 holes were cancelled due to the severe wind that whipped through the area as the golfers tried to complete the final round. The wind became hard enough that it blew golf balls off of greens as golfers tried to putt, forcing tournament organizers to cancel the round and revert team and individual scores back to Monday's rounds.

Christian noted he was disappointed that happened because Piper was 1-under through 12 holes on Tuesday despite the howling wind, and was leading Tuesday's scoring by several strokes.

"It was one of the best rounds of golf I've seen," Christian said.

The tournament served as a tune-up for the Busters heading into the fourth Jayhawk Conference tournament at the Salina Municipal Golf Course on March 24.

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