HUTCHINSON – As he made the turn at the Class 6A golf tournament Tuesday, Maize senior and defending champion Kale Reynolds knew that no matter where the pins were tucked on the back nine at Carey Park, he had to fire at them.
Reynolds shot a 2-over 38 on the front nine and put himself in a hole; he trailed Shawnee Mission Northwest’s Blake Allen and Garden City’s Taylor Larsen by three strokes.
So even if he hit the fairway with his drive or not, it was a green light on every approach shot.
Reynolds did make birdies on the back nine, three of them in fact. But like in most cases of risk/reward shots, there were bogeys, too.
Reynolds shot a 2-over 73 and finished sixth, while Maize took seventh as a team with a four-man score of 310.
Josh Pederson of Blue Valley North won medalist honors with a 2-under 69 and defeated Andy Spencer of Shawnee Mission East in a playoff.
Washburn Rural won the team title with a 296 – winning a fifth score tiebreaker over Blue Valley North.
“I didn’t play as well this year as I did last year,” Reynolds said. “I hit it in some bad places going at flagsticks and it cost me on both sides.”
“With an 18-hole state tournament, it forces you to play a little different than a four-day tournament where you hit to the middle of the green and make pars.”
Perhaps the biggest reason Reynolds didn’t shoot a lower score was his inability to hit fairways. With the wet conditions, any ball in the fairway was allowed to be cleaned and placed; balls in the rough were not.
“I just didn’t get very many good breaks,” Reynolds said. “I didn’t hit too many fairways, which cost me. I just didn’t have many good positions to make birdie putts.”
Reynolds got off to a good start, playing the first four holes in 1-under. But bogeys on Nos. 5, 7 and 8 halted any momentum.
It appeared Reynolds’ round was going to take off after he made a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 10, but he followed with a bogey on 11.
He answered with a birdie on 12, but then made bogey on 13 and 14.
“We knew where everybody stood at midway point of the back nine, so he knew that he needed to be aggressive,” Maize coach Brad Hornung said. “It was birdies and bogeys after that.”
After a birdie on 15, Reynolds parred in for a back-nine 35.
“He made some birdies on the back nine, but came up a bit short,” Hornung said. “It was still a pretty darn-good round.”
For a brief moment he was the leader in the clubhouse, before Spencer’s 69 was posted.
“It’s not like I shot a terrible round, it just wasn’t my best,” Reynolds said. “I was fully capable of a great round, but it just didn’t go my way today.”
At Carey Park (Par 71)
Team scores – Washburn Rural 296, BV North 296, SM East 298, Manhattan 300, Garden City 302, Free State 309, Maize 310, Olathe Northwest 321, SM Northwest 325, Hutchinson 326, Lawrence 333, Junction City 340.
Individuals – 1. Pederson, BV North, 69 (won playoff); 2. Spencer, SM East, 69; 3. Larsen, Garden City, 70; 4. Dillon, Manhattan, 72; 5. McCalla, Washburn Rural, 73 (won playoff); 6. Reynolds, Maize, 73; 7. Beal, Washburn Rural, 73; 8. Clatterbuck, Washburn Rural, 74 (won playoff); 9. Howard, BV North, 74; 10. Flynn, Free State, 74; 11. Goldman, BV North, 75 (won playoff); 12. Casper, Manhattan, 75; 13. Durst, Garden City, 76 (won playoff); 14. (tie) Gutgesill, Olathe East, 76; Allen, BVNW 76; Churchill, Olathe East, 76; Knabe, SM East, 76; Gaspar, Garden City, 76; Blackman, SM East, 76; Dykes, Lawrence 76; Dillen, Manhattan, 76; Tovkach, Gardner-Edgerton, 76; Beckler, Washburn Rural, 76.