Ryli Cook made it three consecutive golf tournament wins to start the season, as the Stanton County junior ran away with the Garden City Invitational on Monday at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course, posting a 75.
Her next closest competitor was at 84, posted by Garden City High School’s Alyssa McMillen, who led the Buffaloes to the team title.
The effort for Cook came despite what many of the golfers described as one of the tougher layouts at Buffalo Dunes.
“It was tough,” Cook said. “There were Sunday pins from the Symetra Tour (Garden City Charity Classic), and the rough hasn’t been cut for a long time, so it was really thick and hard to get out of.”
A few Buffalo golfers did not have the type of performances they’re accustomed to at Buffalo Dunes, but the team was still good enough to get the win at 399. Hays was a close second at 402.
“We were behind with two girls left, and Ashtyn Turrentine came in and she played really good,” GCHS head coach Trent Specht said.
Turrentine medaled in 10th with a 105, and teammate Elena Lemke finished sixth with a 100. Only five girls posted sub-100 scores.
And no one could touch Cook.
“Today was the first time I broke 80 (at Buffalo Dunes),” she said. “I don’t know how it happened, but it did.”
Cook had three birdies and six bogeys.
“I got off the tee really good, for the most part,” Cook said. “My iron game was all right, but there were some putts I left out there.”
Cook's sister, Caelyn finished fourth with a 93.
McMillen had a solid day, as well, but struggled on the back nine with three double bogeys.
“I played all right,” she said. “I could have done better, but it was fine.”
The tough layout did not phase McMillen much.
“It was kind of windy, but it’s my home course so I’m used to it,” she said.
Instead, it might have been the lack of familiarity with the back nine, with the Buffs practicing mostly the front nine so far this season.
“Over the next month (before hosting regionals), we’re going to play the back nine a little bit more,” Specht said.
Rounding out the Buffs’ scores were Grace Yi at 110, Emma Tells at 113 and Ran Linenberger at 135.
Great Bend was third at 433, Dodge City fourth at 482 and Liberal fifth at 495.