Lakin — It seems that green jackets and April were made for one another.
It also seems that the green jacket is ready-to-wear by a Syracuse golfer by the name of Will Kullot.
The senior won the Lakin Invitational for the third straight year and, as is tradition, he got to keep the traditional green jacket, which the tournament started years ago as it coincides with the Masters being played in Augusta, Georgia.
Kullot fired an even-par 71 to win the tournament by six strokes over Ulysses' Brandon Peters (77), with Cimarron's Josh Seabolt firing a 78 for third.
Cimarron won the team title for the second straight year, shooting 322, seven strokes better than last year and 16 strokes ahead of runner-up Syracuse (338).
Kullot remained cool and collected throughout the day, which was played one day ahead of the scheduled date due to forecasted inclement weather.
He made the most of his round, despite not breaking par, which was his intended goal.
A pair of double bogeys on his front nine derailed that goal, although he recovered with pars on those same holes the second time around.
"Really I'm out here just to fine tune things," he said. "I want to get better than I was last year, which I know is hard to do."
He sets his bar pretty high any way, and at this stage of his high school career, the goal is harder to attain but worth pursuing.
Last season he shot an 80 to finished tied for second at the Class 3A state tournament.
This year, Syracuse is in Class 2A, but the goal to get better remains the same.
"The competition is going to be a lot tougher, but the goal is always about going lower," Kullot said. "I can win tournaments here, but at state I'm going to have to step it up. I'm going to have to compete."
Most teams at Lakin were supposed to play Tuesday at Buffalo Dunes, but that tournament was postponed due to high winds and rescheduled for 11 a.m. Monday.
This was the first competition of the season, and Kullot found things that worked and things that can use some tuning.
"I struggled with my driver today on some holes, but on others I did really well with it," Kullot said. "I'd say that's a strength."
Kullot has committed to play at Dodge City Community College next year.
For Cimarron coach Lance Walker, it seemed like another day at the course, but it actually goes deeper this year.
Last year's Bluejays finished third at the Class 3A state tournament, just three shots out of first.
He has a good core of players returning from that team, with only one graduation, Blake Neuschafer, who finished tied with Kullot with an 80 at the state meet.
But Seabolt's 78 and Justin Fugitt's 80, along with a couple of 82s, set the right tone for the season.
"And a few of these guys shot some big numbers on a couple of holes today, so they potentially could have gone really low," Walker said. "That's the lowest we've ever shot at Lakin as a team, so that's really good."
If they turned in those scores at the state tournament, that would win it, he noted, so it was a good way to start the season.
"Most of these guys are upperclassmen, so their maturity is going to help them there," Walker added.