When Kapaun senior Sam Stevens opened his round Monday at Auburn Hills with three birdies and an eagle, he had more than an inkling he could do something special.
“I never really had gotten off to a start like that before,” said Stevens, the two-time defending Class 5A individual and team champion who has signed with Oklahoma State. “I wasn’t sure what to think.”
Stevens shot a state record 62, according to the Kansas Coaches Association’s web site. He was 10 shots below par.
His round bested Maize’s Kale Reynolds, who shot a 63 on April 25 at the Salina Municipal Golf Course as part of the Salina Invitational.
“Really, from the very start of the round, I was really comfortable out there,” Stevens said. “I seemed to be putting really well and hitting all my shots really well. From the time I teed off, I was a little more focused. I hadn’t been playing that great, but I executed my game plan perfectly.”
Stevens’ previous low was a 65, but it wasn’t in a tournament.
On a calm but hot day, the conditions were ripe for a good round.
But after his superb start, Stevens stumbled slightly, bogeying on the fifth hole.
“I hit my driver, over cut it, hit it in the hazard and had to make a drop,” Stevens said. “I made a seven- or eight-footer for bogey. That was big, not to make a double (bogey).”
Stevens didn’t react negatively to the bogey. Actually, it settled him down, re-focused him on his game plan.
“It brought me back to reality,” Stevens said. “The first four holes, I played them perfectly. I wasn’t expecting to do that, so the bogey on five helped me a little bit. I was able to settle down. I had a lot of golf left to play.”
Stevens birdied No. 6, then had par on the next three holes for a 31 on the front nine.
On the back nine, Stevens had three birdies and had an eagle on No. 11.
The postgame celebration included a trip to Taco Shop.
“It’s all-you-can-eat tacos on Monday,” Stevens said.