Krannawitter leads Hays High at home tourney

Rick Peterson Jr.
Hays Daily News

Battling rough playing conditions, the Hays High boys golf team took third place at the HHS Bob Blazer Invitational on a cold and windy Monday afternoon at Smoky Hill Country Club. 

The Indians compiled a team score of 350. They were 14 shots back of team champion Garden City and one shot back of second-place Great Bend. 

Senior Jason Krannawitter led the Indians with a third-place showing, carding a 79, one shot back of the lead. 

"It was a grind out there," Krannawitter said. "It was tough to control the ball, with the wind and everything. But I got to be happy with my chipping and my putting because those improved."

Krannawitter lamented an errant second shot on No. 16 that landed out of bounds. 

"One bad shot on 16. It caused me to go out of bounds and that was a two-stroke penalty," he said. "I wish I could have that one back."

"He hit a good drive, just pulled it out of bounds," Hays coach Mark Watts said. "That's golf."

Dodge City’s Cooper Scheck and Topeka West's Miles Alonzo shared the lead after firing rounds of 78. Scheck edged Alonzo after three playoff holes. 

Braden Hoskins tied for 10th with an 84 for Hays High while Weston Hoskins was 14th for the Indians with an 86.

Krannawitter opened with three pars in a row and then birdied No. 7. He said his chipping was strong all day. 

"I appreciate Jason because he's just coming off an unbelievable basketball season, he's very competitive," Watts said. "I was really looking forward to having him last year play. With the COVID situation, that really put a crimp in a lot of things, especially his progression, and a lot of kids' progression.

"But he's been working (on his game) in the summer. Golf can be a sport if you're out there by yourself, sometimes you don't get pushed. Having Braden playing this year and Weston has pushed him because he has somebody to play with now of equal ability. ...  I'm very pleased with Jason's effort and his leadership this year."

Outside of the top three scores for the Indians, no other Hays High golfer was able to crack 100. 

"We struggled to keep the ball in play, especially with our fourth, fifth and sixth men," Watts said. "The first, second and third guys wish they could have had a couple swings back, but that's the way golf is. 

"We had three guys within the top 14, so that's not bad. We just got to find a fourth, fifth and sixth player."

Watts said he wasn't disappointed with how the Indians played, considering how tough the conditions were. 

"As a player, playing in those same type of conditions, you can understand that," Watts said. "If you've never played the game or coached in golf, you don't understand how hard it is to play in these conditions."

Watts noted that the cancellation of last year's season and the lack of tournament experience can be hindrance in the development of high school golfers. 

"Tournaments are big, because you have all the work and preparation you put into it before, and then you get to showcase it," Watts said. "If there's not a tournament, you're putting all this work in and you don't have a lot to showcase for."

"With last year being canceled it was tough," Krannawitter said. "Sophomore year it was really fun. I like high school golf tournaments, playing golf for Hays High. Just to have that back this year feels good."

If the Indians can find a way to bolster their depth, Watts said he feels good about their chances to make the tournament for the 12th consecutive season. 

"We've got to find that fourth, fifth and sixth (golfer)," Watts said. "If we can do that by regional time at the end of the year, there is a good chance, because of our regional and the teams that are in there, that we could make it to state."

Team results 

Garden City 336; Great Bend 349; Hays 350;  Topeka Seaman 353; Salina Central 378; Dodge City 381; Liberal 419.

Top 10 individual results  

T1. Cooper Scheck, Dodge City, 78; 2. Miles Alonzo. Topeka West, 78; T3. Jason Krannawitter, Hays, 79; T3. Theo Juhl, Garden City, 79; 5. Jack Koskal, Garden City, 81; T6. Cole Streck, Great Bend, 82; T6. Jake Moss, Topeka Seaman, 82; T8. Carson Gilmore, Liberal, 83; T8. Davan Smith, Dodge City, 83; T10. Cayden Cundiff, Garden City, 84; T10. Braden Hoskins, Hays, 84; T10. Scott Heilman, Great Bend, 84.

Other HHS results

T30. Ashton Hernandez, 101; 33. Blake Buckles, 104; 34. Skylar Zimmerman, 105.