The Newton High School boys’ golf team tied for eighth out of 15 teams Tuesday at the Newton Invitational Tuesday at Sand Creek Station.
Maize South topped the field at 332, followed by Liberal at 337, Salina Central at 348, Salina South at 351 and Maize at 355. Newton had a team score of 375.
High winds kept scores high. Ryan Setser of Maize South claimed top medalist honors with a five-over par 77. Setser was the only player to break 80.
Trent Sutherland of Arkansas City and Cameron Riley of Liberal each scored an 80. Lucas Freelove of Salina Central, Shamir Khan of Wichita East and Tracey Hill of Liberal all shot an 81.
Setser finished the front nine with one bogey on hole 7. After starting the back nine with a three-over 8, he claimed a pair of pars. On his final six hole, he shot three pars and three bogeys.
“My putts were really going in and I don’t think I missed a single drive,” Setser said. “This is like my fourth time playing this course. I had to play it smart and not use my driver on the holes. I had to keep it low (because of the wind).”
It was the first win for Setser.
Newton was led by Erick Hernandez with an 89. After a 10, a bogey and a double bogey, Hernandez finished the round with a pair of birdies and was able to move up in the standings.
Hunter Lujano was 30th at 91, followed by Zach Engelken in 42nd at 95, Tanner DeGrado in 52nd at 100, Cooper Burns in 74th at 116 and Max Willingham in 78th at 121.
“Our scores were a little higher than our last tournament,” Newton coach Joanie Pauls said. “We shot a 360 last time. We tied for eighth out of 15. Overall, we did pretty good. We’re still having too many holes with big numbers. Erick was our low score today. The conditions were tough. At one time, the winds were around 29 mph. That made everything hard. Some of our kids handled it a little bit better mentally. You have to be able to handle adversity.”
The Railers are off until April 20, when the team competes at the Salina South Invitational at the Salina Municipal Golf Course. It will be the second of four tournaments for Newton at Salina Municipal, which also hosts league and regionals.
“A couple of years ago, we changed our schedule to go up there a little more,” Pauls said. “With our league and regionals are set up, we’re pretty much guaranteed that we’re going to go up there at least once for the post-season. Last year, state was there.”