Reed City’s Clark shines with runner-up finish at St. Ives

REED CITY — Tom Clark knows it’s still early in the golf season.

But his performance in the Lakeview Invitational last week at St. Ives has the Reed City senior optimistic over his prospects for the 2011 season. A match play format was used.

Clark took second place for the No. 1 seeds while Jared McKellar placed fifth among the No. 2 seeds. A 27-hole format was used.

“My first nine, I was one over,” Clark said. “My second nine, I was two over. My third, three over and the guy I played against was one under. My first two nines were good. I think I got a little tired my third nine.”

McKellar “told me he should have beaten his first kid,” Clark said. “Other than that, he’s pretty happy.”

It’s the fourth varsity season for McKellar, a senior.

“I know I want to make it to regionals,” he said. “I missed it to state last year by five strokes. I want to make it to state as an individual. It will take hard work and staying focused.”

Clark said the strongest part of his game is playing off the tee and chipping. He ‘s striving to improve on his putting.

“I’m playing about 30 to 40 percent better than I did last season,” he said. “Over the summer, I golfed in a Lake Michigan Junior Tour. When I was all done, I started practicing for football.”

Reed City opens the Central State Activities Association season in a jamboree next Tuesday at Hesperia.

“Big Rapids is definitely going to take first like they always do,” Clark said. “We should be close to Chippewa Hills. If we shoot good, we should make it to regionals as a team.”