With one last chance to play a high school round at Smoky Hill Country Club, Hays High seniors Tradgon McCrae and Josh Norris didn’t let the opportunity go to waste.
McCrae and Norris finished 1-2 in Monday’s Class 5A regional, carrying the Indians to their seventh straight regional team title.
McCrae shot a 75 while Norris fired a 78 for the only two scores in the 70s on the day. The Indians, who are headed to state for the 11th straight year, compiled a team score of 324, beating Maize South by six strokes for first.
“It’s extremely special,” McCrae said. “To finish it off, senior year, out here on our home course, it feels great.”
McCrae was able to fight through putting issues to notch his first tournament victory of his standout senior season.
“I was striking the ball really well,” McCrae said. “I was just happy to come out with a 75 after my putting was kind of bad today.
“I know I left some strokes out there. Fifteen greens, I had 15 birdie putts and I made one of them. I know I left a lot out there, but at the same time, 75 is still a good round.”
It was McCrae’s third regional championship in four years.
“I was really pleased with Tradgon,” Hays High coach Mark Watts said. “He’s going to be leaving as the all-time greatest player in Hays High history as far as stroke average and probably in tournament wins."
Norris put together a strong finish to his round and Jason Krannawitter also played well down the stretch, carding an 81. Krannawitter placed seventh after losing in a playoff that went three holes.
“I was also proud of Josh, especially on the back nine,” Watts said. “Josh really came through on the back. And then I think Jason was 1-under on his last seven holes. We always talk about finishing strong.”
Tucker Johnson finished with a 90 for Hays High to round out the Indians' team score.
The Class 5A state tournament will be played at Dodge City’s Mariah Hills Golf Course next Monday.
Watts said he will relish coaching McCrae and Norris for one more tournament.
“We’re going to miss those guys,” he said. “It’s hard to say goodbye to those two. We have one more tournament. I’m going to tell them to go out and play for yourselves a little bit. Go out and have fun in your last tournament. See if you can get in the top 10 or even win the darn thing.
“I’m so proud with what Tradgon and Josh have done.”
TMP GOLF WINS REGIONAL: The Thomas More Prep-Marian golf team won its Class 3A regional tournament on Monday at Lake Barton Golf Club in Great Bend and will be headed to state. Check HDNnews.net and Wednesday’s newspaper for more on the Monarchs’ regional title.