Central Montcalm’s boys golf team is excited to play at Forest Akers East Golf Course on the campus of Michigan State University Friday and Saturday.
Those are the dates for the Division 3 state golf tournament, which the Green Hornets qualified for by winning the regional tournament June 7.
As a coach, Gary Buchholz is pleased to be headed back to the state finals for the first time since 2004.
“It’s a good thing. That’s what our goal is every year,” Buchholz said. “I’ve had quite a few groups that have
made it. Getting through the regional is quite a feat.”
Central shot a team score of 342 at Lakeside Links Golf Course to beat Ludington and Roscommon, who will also be in East Lansing.
Buccholz thinks his team is ready for the challenge.
“They’re ready to go. They’re excited about playing,” he said. “They put more effort into it and I think they’re going down to play their best.”
Buchholz knows Forest Akers East, having teams that played there before. He also planned on taking the Hornets there to shoot practice rounds before the tournament.
“I believe it’s the easier course,” he said. “The West is the tough course. It’s a matter of chipping and putting. I think we’re going to do well. My goal is 320 so I’m expecting something around there.”
Bucholz said his team has a good chance at reaching the 320 goal, especially with all five of his scorers scoring around 80.
“Team-wise we’re pretty solid top to bottom. I’m hoping for five scorers around 80. If we play better than that, it would be great.”
The depth of Central was evident at the regional tournament when No. 3 golfer Ben Gladding shot a team-low 84 and No. 4 golfer Tyler Sleet added an 85. The No 1 golfer, Ryan Michalek, shot an 87, and No. 2 golfer Jared Cilibraise shot a team-high 90.
Buchholz doesn’t know much about the teams that are going to be at the tournament.
“I know the Ithaca team is good,” he said. “I don’t know a lot of the other ones. We’ve competed against them two or three times. I know how tough they are. They’re going to shoot around the 320 range. We have to play good, there’s no question about that.”
But Buchholz isn’t worried about anyone else but Central.
“I usually don’t worry about them. I normally worry about my five players,” he said. “We have to be good chipping and putting and that’s been one of our strengths. It’s tee to green that is going to be the difference.”