Par 5s are usually the “money” holes for Andover junior Zach Sokolosky.
A quaduple-bogey 9 was unimaginable to Sokolosky until it became a reality on the par-5 10th hole at Auburn Hills in a Class 5A regional Monday.
No one was scoring consistently with the temperature pushing 90 degrees, wind gusts pushing 30 mph and the blue tees playing more than 6,600 yards. But a quad?
“I just got in a rush because we were playing so slow today and I really don’t like to play that slow,” Sokolosky said. “I got out of my rhythm and hit my drive left, then shanked one in the water and just ended up punching out because I didn’t want to do it again. It was rough.”
One hole could have cost Sokolosky the tournament medalist honors, but he recovered to par the final eight holes to finish with a 5-over 77.
“That’s a strength in his game is his maturity,” Andover coach Ryan Harshaw said. “Maybe when he was a freshman that would bother him, but at this point in his career he’s able to fight through it and finish the round on a high note.”
Overcoming adversity was the theme Monday in difficult conditions.
Kapaun Mount Carmel won the team championship with a four-man score of 328 (+40), edging Andover (330) and Bishop Carroll (331). The top three teams qualified for next week’s state tournament.
The Crusaders rallied for the title behind strong back-nine performances from sophomore Cooper Steiner, who closed with an even-par 36 to finish with a 79, second to Sokolosky. Jack Baker (82), Keaton Eberhart (82), Ben Spicer (85) and Matthew Schrock (86) finished in the top 12 for Kapaun.
“Our bounceback was important today,” Kapaun coach Dan Harrison said. “We knew every stroke was going to count today and three strokes separated the three of us. It was great preparation to handle that kind of pressure going forward.”
Eisenhower sophomore Mateo Villegas battled to one of his best rounds of the year, finishing in a tie for third with an 81. He won a playoff to take third over Carroll’s Luke Brugman and Aspen Wadlowe.
The other four individual qualifiers were his teammate, Tyler Trudo, Arkansas City’s Jackson Rohr, and Liberal’s duo of Cameron Riley and Dylan Schellenberger.
At Auburn Hills (Par 72)
Teams: Kapaun 328, Andover 330, Carroll 331, Eisenhower 366, Liberal 376, Arkansas City 391, Goddard 484.
Individuals: 1. Zach Sokolosky, Andover, 77; 2. Cooper Steiner, Kapaun, 79; 3. Mateo Villegas, Eisenhower, 81; 4. Luke Brugman, Carroll, 81; 5. Aspen Wadlowe, Carroll, 81; 6. Jack Baker, Kapaun, 82; 7. Jacob Wilson, Andover, 82; 8. Carson Towey, Carroll, 82; 9. Keaton Eberhart, Kapaun, 82; 10. Drake Sawyer, Andover, 85; 10. Ben Spicer, Kapaun, 85.
Other qualifiers: 12. Jackson Rohr, Arkansas City, 86; 12. Cameron Riley, Liberal, 86; 12. Tyler Trudo, Eisenhower, 86; 20. Dylan Schellenberger, Liberal, 92.