Syracuse takes team title at Buffalo Dunes

5/16/2014

By BRETT MARSHALL

By BRETT MARSHALL

bmarshall@gctelegram.com

There wasn't much separating first- and second-place finishes on Thursday in the Hi-Plains League golf tournament at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course.

And that was for both the individual race, which was captured by Lakin's Wyatt Burnett with a 5-over-par 77 (Meade's Austin Jansonius was second with a 78), and the team title, which the Syracuse Bulldogs managed by three shots, 342 to Stanton County's 345. Cimarron was a distant third at 388.

For Burnett, it has been somewhat of a roller-coaster season in this his junior year.

In cold, blustery conditions on Monday, on the same Dunes course, Burnett shot a 91 that he said he would just as soon forget.

Playing in near-ideal conditions, though, on Thursday made things much easier and enjoyable for the Broncs golfer.

His nines of 39-38 were consistent, and he had four bogeys and a birdie on the front nine, and managed to survive with three bogeys and a single birdie on the back nine.

Stanton County's Gage Martin was the low scorer for coach Marty Cook's Trojans with an 80, tying with Syracuse's low score of the day by Cameron Coleman. Chase Keller of Syracuse and Charlie Pfeifer of Cimarron matched 81s to round out the top five scores.

Burnett said his round came despite having a sub-par performance on the greens, taking 35 putts for the round.

"When we played Monday and it was blowing so hard, I play a fade and the wind just took it too far to the right," Burnett said. "Today, I could manage it a lot better. I hit a lot of fairways and when I did miss, I was just pretty close to the fairway."

Burnett, whose group started on the No. 1 hole, bogeyed holes three, four and five before he knocked a 60-degree wedge to about seven feet on the par-4 6th hole, and made the putt for birdie.

On the incoming nine, he bogeyed the 12th, 16th and 17th holes before stiffing another 60-degree wedge to 15 feet, and draining the putt to finish off the round, good enough for the one-shot victory.

"This is a big confidence boost for me," Burnett said. "I had really struggled the last couple of tournaments (Elkhart on Tuesday, Dunes on Monday). Today, I just played good golf."

Burnett and his teammates, along with other Class 3A schools, will head to Plains on Monday for the regional tournament at the Joyce Hamm Golf Course. Syracuse, Stanton County and the 2A schools will make the trek back to Buffalo Dunes for their third event in eight days at the tough Garden City track.

Results in Scoreboard, Page B2.

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