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Three events, one week – local golfers get in their strokes
April 30, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis

Photo by Anthony Brathwaite/Gering Citizen - Mitchell freshman Hunter Craig putts on the 12th hole at the Scottsbluff Country Club on Monday. Teams from the area competed at the Scottsbluff Invitational Tournament on a brusque, overcast day.

Through cold weather, wind and also some very favorable conditions, Gering and Scottsbluff golfers brought their clubs to three events over the space of a week and turned in varying results.

The first event was last Thursday at the Gothenburg Invite, where Scottsbluff’s Jonah Wright shot a career-low 72 for his first individual title. Two days later it was on to the Alliance Invite, where Gering captured its first title of the season. And it all wrapped up in Monday at the Scottsbluff Invite.

Two Wyoming schools, Laramie and Cheyenne Central, took the top two spots at Scottsbluff’s home event. Most of the Scottsbluff team was in Florida for the National DECA Convention, so Jared Pilkington was the only Bearcat competing. He finished in fourth place, carding a 78.

“Not having all the team there wasn’t much fun,” said Scottsbluff Coach Mike Klein about the Alliance and Scottsbluff events. “But Jared Pilkington played well at both events, so he’s kind of on a roll.”

Gering brought five golfers for the Scottsbluff event and posted a team score of 369. Leading the pack for the Bulldogs was Kraiger Ebbers, shooting an 86. Alex Lupher came in at 89, followed by Mason Marsh at 96 and Grant Maser at 98, Tyler Tjaden carded a 111 for the afternoon.

Despite wet and rainy weather over the weekend, the greens at Scotts Bluff Country Club were great and the weather cooperated for the day with no wind, although it was a little cold.
“We didn’t play as well as we should have at Scottsbluff,” said Gering Coach Keaton Green. “Finishing seventh, we didn’t place as high as we needed to.”

Green said the team gets along great, but struggling some on the greens and staying consistent. “Our top players have done really well on one side then struggled on the other. We’re trying to get it all together and have a complete performance from all of them. The team race is going to become more important as we reach the end of the season.”

Last week, Scottsbluff’s Jonah Wright got his first individual title of the season on May 23 in Gothenburg, firing a career-low score of 72. Just one stroke back at 73 was McCook’s Noah Hoffman.
As a team, Scottsbluff carded a 315 score to take second place, just four strokes behind McCook, who won the Invite with 315.

Also finishing in the top five were Wahoo Neumann at 320, North Platte in fourth with 328 and Sidney with 342 for fifth.
In addition to Wright, scorers for Scottsbluff included Koy Pottoff at 82 and Jared Pilkington with 80. Bailey Hort and Sean Mercer-Smith both shot 85.

“The Gothenburg Invite went well, but we haven’t all played well on the same day yet,” Klein said.

Gering finished the Invite with a 10th place team score of 376. Individually, Kraiger Ebbers tied for 22nd with an 85. Mason Marsh tied for 31st at 92, and Logan VanAnne finished 71st with 111.
“That tournament went okay for us because it’s a challenging course,” Green said. “The cold and windy conditions didn’t help either.”

Two days later, Alliance hosted an Invite as Gering captured its first title of the season in Division I standings, shooting a team score of 344 which included three individual medalists.
The Alliance Invite was the second best outing for the Bulldogs. Their low score of 339 was recorded the first week of the season in Sidney.

Gering’s Grant Maser shot an 83 on the day to claim second place. The Bulldogs also took third place with an 84 from Kraiger Ebbers and Alex Lupher in seventh with 85. Also for Gering, Mason Marsh shot a 92 round and Tyler Tjaden carded a 98.

“Alliance was one of our better performances of the season,” Green said. “Our team score was a little higher than we thought, but with a smaller field of competition it was good enough for first place.”
With most of the team in Florida for the national DECA Convention, Scottsbluff brought two golfers to Alliance. Jared Pilkington finished as the low medalist with a score of 78. Teammate Craig Smith carded a 102 on the afternoon.

In Division II at Alliance, Mitchell had 414 team points behind low scorer Seth Marcoe, who carded an 88.
Gering and Scottsbluff golfers are in Chadron today (April 30) for an Invitational.
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