HAMPTON — Friday’s goal for the Clear Lake boys golf team in its Class 2A sectional meet at the Hampton Country Club was nothing more than to push itself through to districts. It made no difference to them whether the result was pretty or not.
Consider it mission accomplished for the Lions as their team score of 330 clinched them the sectional title and a spot in next Friday’s district tournament at Dike-New Hartford.
“That was a little more than we would’ve liked,” Clear Lake senior Thomas Storbeck, who was the medalist, said of the Lions’ score. “We’ve got some work to do still.”
The mood throughout the Lions roster was the same as Storbeck’s.
On one of the tougher courses in the area, the Lions, who averaged just over 319 for the year, had their fair share of struggles Friday.
In the end, though, it was more than enough as they beat Clarion-Goldfield-Dows by 42 strokes.
“You don’t see many courses like this,” Clear Lake coach Eric Perry said. “Our district course won’t be like this — it will be a little longer, and the greens won’t be as tough at state also. These are probably the hardest greens we’ve played on all year, and we’ve played in some pretty big tournaments.”
On the par 37 course, Storbeck finished with a 3-over par 77 to earn tournament medalist.
He had a double bogey, a birdie and seven pars on his first nine holes and finished the second nine with three bogeys, a birdie and the rest pars.
“I wasn’t too happy about it, but I was happy that we met our goal of moving on,” Storbeck said. “I feel like there’s a lot of room for improvement for me.”
Clear Lake’s Kyle Calaguas finished as runner-up with a round of 80.
The Lions’ No. 5 golfer Jackson Hamlin continued his consistent play as he ended up in third place individually with an 85, and Evan Krause rounded out the scoring with an 88. Carter Backaus and Tate Storbeck added non-counting rounds of 91 and 93, respectively.
“I think some of the guys are a little upset they didn’t score as well but they’ll be there when we need them and that’s what we’re looking for,” Perry said.
Garner-Hayfield-Ventura ended up just short of making districts as it shot 376 to place third, four strokes behind Clarion-Goldfield-Dows. The Cardinals did, however, push one individual through as Matthew Heinemann placed fourth with a round of 87 to punch his ticket to the district tournament.