MHSAA Div. 3 boys golf: Munising finishes fourth at Escanaba Country Club

ESCANABA – Jeffers shot past a crowded field of 21 schools to win by two strokes at the MHSAA Upper Peninsula Division 3 Boys Golf Finals Thursday at the Escanaba Country Club.

The consistent Jets were led by Stephen Butina, who shot an 80. The team’s highest score was just an 88 as they shot a combined 333.

“Anytime you win the U.P. title, you are happy,” Painesdale coach Jason Koski said. “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 with 335 was Bessemer, which had two golfers finish in the individual top five – Derek Gheller tied for second with 78 and Kevin Gerovac tied for fifth with 80.

“I was really surprised actually,” Bessemer coach Mark Movrich said. “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.”

North Central finished third with 344, and the Jets’ Tyler Polfus was eighth with 82.

“All the boys came in at the mid to high 80s, so I feel great,” Jets coach Denise Porath said. “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.”

Paced by Michael Mannisto’s 84, Munising was fourth with 346, then came St. Ignace and Cedarville each with 352.

Other Mustangs scorers were Gage Webster with 86, Tyler Tweedale 87 and Izaak Mahoski 89.

Baraga was 18th with 430 as Sean Lake led the Vikings with 99.

Medalist honors went to Michael McGrath of Watersmeet, who shot 77. There were several competitors nipping at his heels, but his performance on the back nine helped seal the deal.

“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-grader 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.”

Trevor Ongie of Lake Linden-Hubbell put up 79, which earned him fourth. After him, there was a three-way tie for fifth place between Butina, Gerovac and Sam Eberts of Cedarville with 80.

Teams seemed to be pleased with the weather conditions Thursday of around 70 degrees with a light breeze and virtually no cloud cover.