GNC golf: Marquette boys, Avery Rochester all shine in conference meet at windy Escanaba Country Club
ESCANABA – It’s often a little on the windy side at the Escanaba Country Club, but good luck finding a golfer who preferred playing in the conditions the prep athletes had to face during Thursday’s Great Northern Conference meet.
Constant wind gusts upwards of 30-35 miles per hour sent plenty of balls off course, sideways and even backwards.
This, just a day after many of these same golfers had to deal with steady rain and a soggy course during Wednesday’s Marquette Invitational at the Marquette Golf Club.
Incredibly, a couple of Marquette golfers seemed to thrive in the unfavorable conditions. Jordan Frazier and Avery Rochester were each named medalists and the Marquette boys rolled to a team victory.
The Escanaba girls also claimed victory by a wide margin.
Frazier, who shot a 77 Wednesday, actually improved on Thursday, shooting 75 in avoiding any double-bogeys.
“(Wednesday), I shot 77 in the pouring rain in Marquette. That wasn’t as bad as the wind today. It was cold, chilly and definitely windy,” he said.
“If I was going up against the wind, I’d club up probably four times and downwind, I’d club down four times.
“It was a lot of math in my head to do,” Frazier added, “but I stuck to it. I was getting up and down for par all the time.”
Gladstone’s Adam Scheeneman and Marquette’s Brett Specker tied for runner up honors with 79s and were the the only other golfers to break 80.
On the girls’ side, only two golfers broke 90. Rochester led the way with an 87, followed by Escanaba’s Kelsey Motto at 89.
Marquette coach Ben Smith said given the harsh conditions, he thought his golfers adjusted reasonably well.
“I think compared to (Wednesday), this was far more bearable in terms of functioning. You mix in some rain and wetness – that makes everything worse, making it harder to grip clubs,” he said.
“It’s always windy here, but it was pretty crazy. I saw a kid hit a 170-yard 3-wood that came up short. Then you see a kid hit a hybrid off a tee where the drivers usually go, with the wind.
“So to make those adjustments on the fly is tough,” Smith added. “But I think most of the kids adjusted to the conditions fairly well.”