Day to remember: Ryan McEvers goes low — the lowest score of his life — to lead Manistique boys to MHSAA Upper Peninsula Finals title in Division 2 golf

The Manistique High School boys golf team, including individual medalist Ryan McEvers, celebrate their MHSAA Upper Peninsula Finals championship in Division 2 boys golf with the “MHSAA Champion” placard and trophy at Oak Crest Golf Club in Norway on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy Jason Juno)

NORWAY — Manistique’s Ryan McEvers said he would have been happy with a score in the 80s at the MHSAA Upper Peninsula Finals in Division 2 boys golf at Oak Crest Golf Club on Wednesday.

That makes sense, considering his coach Tim Noble couldn’t remember the junior recording a score in the 70s at a tournament before.

Instead, McEvers stepped up at the right time and shot an incredible 74 to win medalist honors and lead his Emeralds to the team championship.

With Manistique totaling 331 and runner-up Jeffers 334, any round in the 80s by McEvers would’ve given the team title to the Jets.

Two more teams were also within a dozen strokes of Manistique as Hancock was third with 339 and St. Ignace fourth with 342.

Manistique’s Grant Mason follows through on a shot during the MHSAA Upper Peninsula Finals in Division 2 boys golf at Oak Crest Golf Club in Norway on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy Jason Juno)

Munising came next in fifth with 350, while Newberry was 10th with 456. Gwinn was among three schools that didn’t have a full set of four golfers and had no team score.

Noble came to Oak Crest thinking that it was possible for his Manistique teams to sweep the titles. But he admitted he was more confident in the girls, who did post a 46-stroke victory in a smaller field.

But that might’ve been because he didn’t realize what he had this day with McEvers, who started out with an even-par 36 on the front nine, the best on the course.

“I knew we were suddenly in it for the boys,” Noble said as the Emeralds boys won a team title for the first time since 2007.

They did it with two players posting in the 70s, since Landon Dougherty added a 78.

The Jets were led by individual runner-up Todd Rautiola, who carded 76. But Jeffers didn’t have anyone else in the 70s, nor anyone having a day like McEvers, whose personal best in any round of golf before Wednesday was a 78.

“I’d be happy shooting in the 80s today,” he said right after the finals. “But the guys that I was playing with were fun, and I felt really good about it. I didn’t look at my scorecard until the end, and it all added up nicely.”

Noble said he was texting McEvers’ father updates all day “and he couldn’t believe it.” McEvers’ teammates surrounded him afterward, and they expressed their disbelief as well.

“I think I counted I only had two bad shots,” McEvers said. “My drives were straight. Putting from the fringe probably saved me a lot. But it was all coming together nicely.”

Oak Crest may have lent a helping hand.

“This course is made for a player like Ryan — short, precision,” Noble said.

Norway’s Carson Chartier shot 77 to finish third, while Hancock’s Jackson Sintkowski shot 78 to match Dougherty in fourth.

The rest of the Emeralds’ winning scores were Nate Schoenow with 89 and Kyle Flodin with 90, while fifth scorer Grant Mason provided their team insurance by carding a nifty 91.

Munising was paced by Hudson Rockhill with 82, good for seventh, while Carter Deatsman had 85 and finished just outside the top 10. Teammate Hayden Rockhill added 88 and Cody Lincoln 95 as Cully Trezciak had a solid 98 as the fifth shooter.

Newberry had just four golfers as Matthew Rahilly led the Indians with 100 as Spencer Neeb shot 112, Kegan Martin 115 and Ethan Salter 129.

Gwinn was paced by Andrew Hill with 129 as Scott Glacier had 143 and Waylon Sales 170.

Jason Juno is the sports editor of the Daily Globe of Ironwood. He wrote this account of the U.P. finals for the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s website at www.mhsaa.com.


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