Indians finish fourth in Garden City
By BRETT MARSHALL
Special to The Hays Daily News
GARDEN CITY -- Mark Watts saw a few bright spots in Thursday's Garden City Invitational golf tournament for his Hays High School girls' golf team, but as usual, he thought the difficulty of the Buffalo Dunes Golf Course was the winner in the final analysis.
The Indians finished fourth overall and second amongst Western Athletic Conference teams with a four-player total of 416. Maize was an easy winner at 348 with host Garden City second at 374 and Goodland third with a 378. Great Bend rounded out the top teams at 425. Dodge City and Liberal rounded out the WAC schools at 458 and 489.
Turning in the low round for Watts was freshman Katie Brungardt, whose 97 on the par-72 demanding layout just missed a top 10 medal finish by one shot.
"I was really happy with the way Katie played today," Watts said of his rookie. "She kept the ball in play and that's what you've got to do on any course, but especially a course as tough as Buffalo Dunes."
Lexie Shcaben and Elissa Jensen were next with 106s while Taylor DeBoer rounded out the scoring for the HHS girls with a 107. Rhian Patterson and Macie Mayo had non-counting scores of 127 and 132.
"I think some of the girls were scared to finish their swings today," Watts said. "You've got to have confidence to play this game."
Watts said he also was pleased with Jensen's back nine of 48 after an opening nine of 58.
"Just being able to regroup and improve that much is a good sign," Watts said. "We're still young (3 juniors, 1 sophomore, 2 freshmen). It's a good experience for the girls."
The Indians will travel on Tuesday to compete in the Salina Invitational at Salina Municipal Golf Course.