By Mark Meyer
Special to Second Half
EAST LANSING – Timing. So critical for a successful golf swing, even moreso for a boys golf team trying to win its second MHSAA title in three years.
Everything came together this weekend about as well as it could for Bloomfield Hill Cranbrook-Kingswood, as the Cranes fashioned a two-day total of 618 to win the Lower Peninsula Division 2 championship by five shots over Ada Forest Hills Eastern (623) at Forest Akers West.
Junior Dylan Deogun led Cranbrook-Kingswood with rounds 72 and 75, which placed him third individually behind senior medalist Austin Carter of Croswell-Lexington (72-72-144) and junior runner-up Nick Carlson of Hamilton (75-71-146).
“We’ve been targeting this all year – it’s been a growing and learning process,” said second-year Cranes coach John Minnich. “Each time we played an event earlier this season, we never had four really good scores.
“As the season progressed, the guys started shooting good tournament scores. We finally put it together at the Regional where we had our best score of the year. It was one of those things where we were able to target and peak at the right time. We have only senior, so we hope to be back again next year with a strong team.”
Dylan’s younger brother, freshman Devin Deogun, shot the Cranes’ low score of the day, 74 – eight shots better than his opening round Friday. Juniors Todd Fridline (76-80-156) and Mason Schultz (79-81-160) earned praise from Minnich for not letting some tough early holes take their toll on day two.
“I’m very proud of the way we kept it together out there,” Minnich said. “We had some early bogeys and the round could have gone the wrong way really quick. But I told the guys it’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon.
“Both Todd Fridline (80) and Mason Schultz (81) brought it home for us, playing the last five or six holes in even par. That was key for us.”
Dylan Deogun wasn’t thrilled with his round but did mention a couple of key shots of his own.
“Birdies at 12 and 14 were big, but I gave them away with bogeys at 17 and 18,” Deogun said. “But overall, (I’m) pretty happy with the way I played.
“Last year (finishing third) was a disappointment for us, so it’s good to be back at the top again.”
Dearborn Divine Child (624) finished third, one stroke behind Forest Hills Eastern. Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern (626), Grand Rapids Christian (629) and Marshall (637) completed the top six while DeWitt (640), East Lansing (646), Pontiac Notre Dame Prep and Detroit Country Day tied for ninth at 647.
Tyler Olson of New Boston Huron (73-75-148), Rishi Patel of Country Day (74-74-148) and Zach Robbins of Forest Hills Eastern (73-75) tied for fourth individually, ahead of East Lansing’s Joe Croom (76-73-149) and Grand Rapids Christian’s Ben Van Scoyk (79-72-151). A fivesome tied for ninth at 152: Campbell Crosby of East Grand Rapids (76-76), Zach Rosendale of St. Johns (76-76), Brandon Hawkins of Marshall (78-74), Tristan Brunst of Mason (73-79) and Geoff Croley of DeWitt (74-78).
“The guys are really happy,” said Minnich, the head pro at Indianwood Golf and Country Club. “It’s a great way to end the season, playing well in beautiful weather – after having gone through a wet, cold spring.
“And they learned how to keep the big number off the card. That’s something we’ve talked about all year. Bogeys won’t hurt you, but you can’t make triples and a bunch of doubles. Our course management – making smart shots instead of gambling – made a big difference for us.”
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PHOTOS: (Top) Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood poses with its MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 2 trophy at Forest Akers West. (Middle) Croswell-Lexington’s Austin Carter clears his ball from under a tree on the way to taking the individual championship. (Click to see more at HighSchoolsSportsScene.com.)