ESCANABA - The Jeffers Jets shot their way past the competition at the boys' Division 3 U.P. Golf Finals Thursday at the Escanaba Country Club. They were led by Stephen Butina, who shot an 80. The team's highest score was just an 88, and they shot a combined 333 overall.
"Anytime you win the U.P. title, you are happy," said Jets coach Jason Koski. "It's a tough course with a lot of elevated greens, but we were consistent and that's why we were able to win. The guys golf a lot and put a lot of time in during the summer, and that's why they are successful."
Following Jeffers was Bessemer at 335, which had two golfers finish in the top five individually. Derek Gheller tied for second with a 78, and Kevin Gerovac tied for fifth with an 80.
Justin Marietti | Daily Press
Hunter Eichhorn of Carney-Nadeau chips onto the green during the Division 3 Golf Finals, Thursday, at the Escanaba Country Club. Eichhorn finished with a 78.
Justin Marietti | Escanaba Daily Press
Tyler Polfus of North Central hits a putt during play at the Division 3 U.P. Golf Finals, Thursday, at the Escanaba Country Club. Polfus finished with a score of 82.
"I was really surprised actually," said Bessemer coach Mark Movrich. "We've had one meet and a practice and then we're here at the U.P. finals. I knew we had some good golfers, I just didn't know what to expect. To come in second is a great accomplishment, and I'm really proud of them.
"It would have been nice to shave three strokes somewhere and get first place, but Jeffers had five guys within a few strokes of each other, and that's pretty tough to beat."
The top individual score for the day went to Michael Mcgrath of Watersmeet, who shot a 77. There were several competitors nipping at his heels, but his performance on the back nine helped to seal the deal.
Boys Division 3 U.P. Golf Finals, Escanaba Country Club
Jeffers (333) - Stephen Butila, 80; Tyler Bailey, 84; Alex Outinen, 84; Christopher Outinen, 85.
Bessemer (335) - Derek Gheller, 79; Kevin Gerovac, 80; Drew Bennetts, 88; Ben Zielinski, 89.
North Central (344) - Tyler Polfus, 82; Andrew Estrada, 84; Dylan Pohl, 89; Mitchell Rusch, 89.
Munising (346) - Michael Mannisto, 84; Gage Webster, 86; Tyler Tweedale, 87; Isaak Mahoski, 89.
St. Ignace (352) - Curtis St. Louis, 82; Cody Therrian, 82; Jake Dodds, 94; Zach Harrington, 84.
Cedarville (352) - Sam Eberts, 80; Joe Duncan, 90; Brad Coursley, 90; Derek Griffin, 92.
Carney-Nadeau (353) - Hunter Eichhorn, 78; Brett Langenfeld, 91; Keenan Lampinen, 92; Mason Linder, 92.
Lake Linden-Hubbell (361) - Trevor Ongie, 79; Cole Beauchamp, 90; Coy Budweg, 96; Dustin Provost, 96.
Ontonagon (361) - Brandon Jilbert, 84; Troy Preiss, 92; Logan Jilbert, 92; Dylan Morris, 93.
Crystal Falls-Forest Park (374) - Mitch Bal, 90; Steven West, 92; Kevin Stankewicz, 95; Brett Smithson, 97.
Chassell (376) - Steve Tuominen, 85; Jordan LaTendresse, 90; Dax Duroucher, 100; Brant Ryynanen, 101.
DeTour (377) - Blake Melvin, 87; Mike Bailey 95; Matt Eratowski, 96; Kayden Barbeaux, 99.
Bark River-Harris (377) - Max Krachinski, 91; Mitchell Johnson, 92; Andrew Seymour, 95; Sam Cochran, 99; Matt Sundling, 99.
Watersmeet (379) - Michael McGrath, 77; Connor Voegtline, 95; Israel Bolton, 95; Jacob Anus, 112.
Big Bay de Noc (392) - Alex Ringuette, 85; Cole Potvin, 94; Robert Holmberg, 101; Brett LaLonde, 112.
Rudyard (401) - Jacob Kaminski, 93; Andrew Meehan, 94; Jarrett King, 104; Robert Schwovenwever, 110.
Brimley (403) - Brandon Carrick, 92; Jacob Aikens, 101; Jayson Aikens, 104; Sean Daniels, 106.
Baraga (430) - Sean Lake, 99; Josh Sutherland, 108; Austin Smith, 110; Bill Mayo, 113.
Mid Peninsula (438) - Brett Branstrom, 85; Wade Tryan, 112; Trey Branstrom, 117; Trevor Koski, 124.
Engadine (462) - Forrest McArthur, 99; Zach Frazier, 103; Jeff Bomber, 130; Kurtis Helgessen, 130.
Pickford (487) - Jack Slater, 99; Lance Batho, 121; De Lott, 129; Jacob Andrzejack, 138.
Mackinac Island (NTS) - Colton Fisher, 103; Jeremy Hepker, 112.
"I had a good start, and I was able to finish well," Mcgrath said. "I can't believe it, honestly. Just one good day."
Eighth grade phenom Hunter Eichhorn of Carney-Nadeau tied with Gheller for second place. Although he had one of the top scores, Eichhorn said that he could have done much better.
"I didn't chip well to begin with, and I wasn't playing very well, but I didn't feel very good," he said. "It was alright, but there was a couple of places where I could have cut off a bunch of strokes. I could have done a lot better, but it is what it is."
The North Central Jets finished in third with a team score of 344, led by Tyler Polfus with a personal score of 82.
"All the boys came in at the mid to high 80's, so I feel great," said Jets coach Denise Porath. "We've been up and down all year, and I think the boys really came through. Some of the boys brought their strokes down by five or six, and that really helps."
Munising rounded out the four spot with a 352, followed by St. Ignace and Cedarville with 352.
Trevor Ongie of Lake Linden-Hubbell put up a 79, which earned him a fourth-place finish. There was a three-way tie for fifth place between Butina of Jeffers, Gerovac of Bessemer, and Sam Eberts of Cedarville, who all shot 80.
Regardless of score, all of the teams were pleased with the weather conditions Thursday. Temperatures teetered around 70 degrees with a light breeze, and virtually no cloud cover to speak of.