BAYARD — Taking advantage of playing on its home course, the Bayard boys golf team opened the season in fine fashion by capturing the championship of the Bayard Invitational on Tuesday at Chimney Rock Golf Course.
The Tigers fired a 349 to win by 29 shots over runner-up Bridgeport. The Bulldogs finished with a 378, while Mitchell shot a 379 to place third.
“It was a good way to start off the season,” Bayard coach Jim Roberts said. “The nice thing about it was we came away with a win and it also showed that we still have lots of room for improvement. So, we got both ends of the stick.”
Roberts, who’s been the only coach in the history of Bayard’s golf program, said his team did a nice job of putting its home-course advantage to good use.
“Golf is one sport that you can have a tremendous advantage in playing at home,” he said. “I think we really did have that today.”
Three Tigers finished in the top 10 to earn medals. Leading the way was junior Trae Blanco, who won the individual title with a 77. Blanco shot a 41 on his opening nine holes, but blistered his second nine with a 36.
“He had a really good back nine,” Roberts said of Blanco. “His front nine was a little weak, but he made up for it to come in with a good 18 holes.”
Finishing right behind Blanco in second place was his teammate Tyson Schmunk. Schmunk shot an 80 to finish as the runner-up medalist. Bayard also received a top-10 finish from Joe Hernandez, who placed eighth with an 89.
“All those guys are pretty savvy golfers and they were on their home course,” Roberts said. “It’s nice to win on your home course, but I think the true test of how well they’re going to do this season will be how well they do in the other tournaments throughout the season.”
Also finishing for the Tigers in Tuesday’s tournament were David Schuler with a 103 and Richard Kadayso with a 116.
Bridgeport was led to its second-place finish by Dakota Swires. Swires finished fourth with an 83.
Other golfers finishing in medalist contention were Kimball’s Henry Heeg in fifth with an 83, Potter-Dix’s Kyle Gorsuch in sixth with an 84, Mitchell’s Peyton Briggs in seventh with an 85, Hemingford’s Brady Horstman in ninth with an 89, and Creek Valley’s Lane Godfrey in 10th with an 89.
Many of the field’s teams will return to tournament action on Tuesday in Mitchell.
Bayard 349, Bridgeport 378, Mitchell 379, Chase County 395, Hemingford 404, Mullen 407, Crawford 408, Gordon-Rushville 430, Kimball 434, Garden County 503
Individual Top Ten
1, Trae Blanco, Bayard, 77. 2, Tyson Schmunk, Bayard, 80. 3, Freddie Kasselman, Chase County, 82. 4, Dakota Swires, Bridgeport, 83. 5, Henry Heeg, Kimball, 83. 6, Kyle Gorsuch, Potter-Dix, 84. 7, Peyton Briggs, Mitchell, 85. 8, Joe Hernandez, Bayard, 89. 9, Brady Horstman, Hemingford, 89. 10, Lane Godfrey, Creek Valley, 89.
Local Individual Team Scoring
Bayard — Tyson Schmunk, 80; Trae Blanco, 77; Joe Hernandez, 89; David Schuler, 103; Richard Kadayso, 116. Bridgeport — Dakota Swires, 83; Collin Anderson, 98; Dawson Hughes, 94; Cole Retchless, 120; Todd Widener, 103. Crawford — Colton Micheel, 93; Blendon Olson, 109; Layne Homrighausen, 93; Taylor Osmotherly, 113. Creek Valley — Lane Godfrey, 91; Cory Phillips, 123; Logan Criswell, 109. Garden County — Brandon Lightfritz, 112; Aaron Stegman, 117; Estephon Reinhart, 140; Dakota Kennedy, 158; Jeremy Hart, 134. Gordon-Rushville — Aaron Yauney, 110; Kyle Bourne, 112; Erik Jacobson, 104; Corby Johns, 134; CoDee Johns, 104. Hay Springs — Regg Strotheide, 99; Eli Badje, 109; Austin Weyers, 116. Kimball — Henry Heeg, 83; Zach Rockhold-O’Brien, 97; Beau Hansel, 120; Ryan Rowley, 126. Mitchell — Peyton Briggs, 85; Luis Panduro, 96; Bo McVay, 100; Tristan Robles, 98; Dereon Betancur, 115. Potter-Dix — Kyle Gorsuch, 84; Sam Bogert, 119; Taylor Juelfs, 124. Hemingford — Brady Horstman, 89; Vance Orr, 101; Jacob Horstman, 101; Colt Foster, 113; Kohl Boone, 117. Morrill — Zech Larson, 99; Thalor Mendoza, 131; McCaleb Hasse, 128.