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Ruder, Indians win at Great Bend

By The Hays Daily News

GREAT BEND -- Hays High School sophomore golfer Payton Ruder edged Garden City High School's Taylor Larsen in the second hole of a playoff on Monday to win the Great Bend Invitational, the first individual champion for the Indians this season.

Larsen and Ruder, ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the Western Athletic Conference standings after Monday, respectively, each shot a 6-over par 77 before going to the playoff at StoneRidge Country Club.

Ruder was one of five Hays High golfers to medal in the top 10 Monday, paving the way for the Indians' first-place team finish. Hays High finished at 318, while Dodge City took second with 330 and Garden City third with 333. Great Bend (358), Liberal (359) and Salina South (421) rounded out the scoring.

Finishing third as an individual was Hays High senior Kaden Beilman, who shot 78. Also medaling were senior Chase Lynd (81 for 7th), junior Cash Hobson (82 for 8th), and senior Lane Clark (84 for 10th). The sixth varsity golfer competing, junior Nathan Romme, shot 85 to tie for 12th place.

With four of the five WAC meets out of the way, Hays High is holding on to a lead over Dodge City in the conference standings. The Indians have a point total of 17.5, with Dodge City coming in at 16. Garden City is third with 13.5 points, followed by Great Bend's nine and Liberal's four.

Larsen leads the individuals with 52.5 points, followed by Ruder's 43. Beilman is third with 42.5 points and Clark sixth with 33 points. The top five players at the end of the season are chosen for the All-WAC team.

The only regular-season meet remaining for the Indians is at Liberal on May 13, which will decide the WAC crown. Hays High's regional takes place on May 19 at Smoky Hill Country Club in Hays.