Coyote golf team’s season ends in regional

REED CITY — The Charlevoix Golf & Country Club proved to be quite the challenge in the Division 3 regionals on Thursday and the Reed City Coyotes were unable to achieve their dream of advancing to the state finals next weekend.

The Coyotes were tied for sixth among 12 teams. The top three qualify for state plus the top three golfers outside of that. The lowest score among single qualifiers was an 83.

“You’re always disappointed when the season ends,” said Reed City coach Todd Dew. “Some of these young men have been with me four years now and they played the best they could. That was a tough course. You take the scores that come in. There was only one team, Charlevoix, that I would say met their expectations. Everyone else golfed much higher because of the difficulty of the course.”

Charlevoix was first with a 322, followed by Chippewa Hills and Whitehall with 359s. Central Montcalm was fourth with 362, while Roscommon was fifth with 363 and Elk Rapids and Reed City tied for sixth with 377.

“We had hopes of moving on and it didn’t happen,” Dew said. “But I was proud of what all these young men accomplished and of all their effort and hard work. I’ll miss a lot of these guys.”

Tom Clark led the Coyotes with an 87, followed by Nick Fu with 91, Jared MacKellar with 99, Ben Schermerhorn with 100 and Matt Kienitz with 103.

Clark was hoping for a better score.

“I was not happy at all,” he said. “That course was way too tight and on every hole there was out of bounds on both sides. There were lateral hazards both sides all the way down. On holes there wasn’t, there was water on the left. It was a very challenging course.”

“I think he played a pretty solid round of golf and he could have shot lower if he could have played the course more,” Dew said. “That was a course where you had to place your shot and if you didn’t place them exactly where the design of the course demanded you to, it reached up and bit you.”

Clark had six pars and two birdies.

‘When I got into trouble off the tee, I had to scramble to save bogey,” Clark said.

“We got there Wednesday with the intention of playing all 18 (practice) holes,” Dew said. “There were some storms and we got nine holes in. We only saw the back side but not the front. It would have been nice to see it but you know how things go.”

It was one of Fu’s better rounds.

“He really was off the tee very well,” Dew said. “He played well all the way around. He putted and chipped. It was a good way for him to go. He had a good experience and we were a better team having him there.”

MacKellar struggled somewhat, Dew acknowledged.

“That course wasn’t really set up for him,” Dew said. “It’s a placement course and Jared needs a course that’s a little more wide open for him to score. He’s such a longball hitter that sometimes he can outdrive things and put himself into some bad positions.”

MacKellar acknowledged the trouble he experienced.

“It was a pretty tough course,” he said. “There was a hazard pretty much on ever hole. It was a real narrow course.”

Clark and MacKellar are graduating.

“They were both seniors who played a lot,” Dew said. “I’ve been through this before when you say it’s hard to replace them and others will step up. We have a number of kids looking forward to next season. I know a lot of these kids really love golf. If I instill that in them, then I’ve done my job. If I get them to love the game of golf, then I’ve won as a coach.”

“The team did pretty well,” Clark said. “We made it to regionals as a team the second year. Some underclasssmen stepped up when we needed them to.”

“I had a pretty good season this year,” MacKellar said. “I struggled in some matches. For the most part, I thought I did well.”