It’s always a little bit of rolling the dice for weather when the Garden City Buffaloes boys golf team hosts its own tournament early in the spring season.
So, to nobody’s surprise, Saturday’s Buffalo Invitational produced another chilly, windy day of spring weather that provided more than a healthy challenge for the Buffs and the other five competing teams.
The Buffs, playing without No. 1 player and defending Class 6A state champion Sion Audrain, finished third with a 349 total, well back of Hays High’s winning score of 321, but only three shots behind runner-up Guymon, Okla., which shot a 346.
While Hays’ Tragdon McCrae captured the individual title with a solid 3-over-par 75 to win by one shot over Guymon’s Grayson Wallace and another two shots in front of Liberal’s Cameron Riley, no Buffs’ golfer managed to break 80.
Junior Mason Shaddix produced the Buffs’ low round of the day with an 83, 11-over-par, three shots clear of teammates Aaron Schafer and Tyler Morren. Sophomore Reid Richmeier rounded out the scoring for the Buffs (4 low of 6 scores count) with a 94. Alex Acosta (91) and Kyler Doll (101) were the two non-scoring team members.
“I see a reasonably good start,” said GCHS coach Jacob Waller. “The 83 by Mason is a solid score for the first tournament of the season, and Aaron and Tyler are both ahead of where they were last year.”
With Audrain, who likely would have been in the hunt for medalist honors, the Buffs may well have been challenging Hays for the top team position.
Audrain, who sat this tournament out so he could compete Friday-Saturday-Sunday in an AJGA event in Arkansas, will be added to the Buffs' roster for their Monday Bishop Carroll Invitational, which will be played at Auburn Hills Golf Course, the site where Audrain won the Class 6A crown last May.
“We know Reid can play better,” Waller said of Richmeier. “He had a rough day. When we get Sion back in the lineup, no question, we’re gonna be a lot stronger.”
Audrain will replace Acosta in the lineup for Monday’s tournament as Waller had to send in his six-player roster prior to Saturday’s home opener.
The weather that greeted the Buffs and the other WAC schools and Guymon was right at 40 degrees for the 9 a.m. shotgun start, and with the wind blowing at about 10 to 15mph, the wind chill hovered around the low to mid-30s.
“Not exactly the easiest of conditions to play, but we practice in the wind all the time,” Waller said. “But we don’t practice at 9 a.m. when it’s this chilly.”
Hays, with three in the top five, looms as the favorite to claim the WAC title, which is contested over the five tournaments, with each school hosting an event through early May.
Contact Brett Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org.