2018-04-26 / Sports

Norsemen make most of unexpected debut

Hursey (+1) starts senior season with 3rd-place finish in field of 90 players
By Jay Bushen
Sports Editor


SUTTONS BAY golfers (from left) Ethan Sommerfield, Matthew Smith, Evan Rohrback, Thomas Hursey and Parker La Pointe show off their third-place plaque at the conclusion of Saturday’s East Lansing Trojan Invitational at Hawk Hollow Golf Course. SUTTONS BAY golfers (from left) Ethan Sommerfield, Matthew Smith, Evan Rohrback, Thomas Hursey and Parker La Pointe show off their third-place plaque at the conclusion of Saturday’s East Lansing Trojan Invitational at Hawk Hollow Golf Course. The Suttons Bay boys had a bad case of cabin fever.

Coach Todd Hursey had a remedy.

In search of greener and more playable pastures, Hursey took his Norsemen down to East Lansing on Sunday for a round of golf at the site of the 2018 Lower Peninsula Division 4 finals, Forest Akers East.

And it wasn’t long before the future hall-of-fame coach caught wind of a Monday tournament at nearby Hawk Hollow Golf Course, the 2018 East Lansing Trojan Invitational. One phone call to East Lansing coach Vic Whipp later, Suttons Bay joined the field.

“He said they could fit us in,” said Hursey, who will be inducted into the Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame on May 11. “The fact that we got to play two days was wonderful.

“Playing well was an added bonus.”

In an 18-team field featuring mostly Division 1 and Division 2 talent, including two teams from Traverse City West, Hursey’s efforts were rewarded — and then some.

His son, standout senior Thomas Hursey, led the way as Suttons Bay carded a 336 and finished third behind only Dewitt (314) and Haslett (323).

While other Northwest Conference teams remained cooped up in the late stages of a seemingly endless winter, the “grand sandbagger” that is Todd Hursey was pleased to see his boys break their cabin fever.

“Hey, we had guys play well,” he said. “It was a good field — but a lot of them hadn’t been on the course too much, either, from what I gather.”

Regardless, the offseason efforts of four Suttons Bay boys paid dividends in what was an impressive 2018 debut.

Thomas Hursey tallied a 1-over 73 on the strength of five birdies and seven pars to finish third in the 90-player field. Junior Ethan Sommerfield shot a 13-over 85; sophomore Matthew Smith fired an 87; senior Parker La Pointe, an Escanaba transfer, penciled a 91.

“The younger guys on the team really stepped up when we needed it most,” said Thomas Hursey, who finished in an eighth-place tie at states as a junior. “Some of the veteran players weren’t having their best day, but having the younger guys contribute the way they did was huge for us. Our team has been putting in countless hours over the winter, so even though it was only our second time hitting on grass all year, we were ready for the moment and took advantage of it.”

On a tough course, no less.

Nearly every hole had a water hazard, Todd Hursey said, and that’s not counting the soggy spots.

“Those four guys have worked all year long on their swings, and it could be a coincidence that those four played well, but I don’t think so,” he said. “They’ve been working with Scott Wilson at Bay Meadows (Family Golf Course in Traverse City) and, well, let’s just say they were ready to go.”

The Norsemen will look to keep it rolling in Traverse City this weekend as they take part in the two-day TC Tee Off at Grand Traverse Resort.

The team will then get its first look at Glen Lake and reigning Northwest Conference champion Leland on Wednesday in the first league jamboree of the season at Bahle Farms.

2018 East Lansing Trojan Invitational

1. DeWitt 314
2. Haslett 323
3. Suttons Bay 336
4. Okemos 339
5. Williamston 341
6. East Lansing “Blue” 342
7. St. Johns 343
8. Gross Ile 344
9. TC West “A” 356
10. Grand Ledge 366
11. Lansing Catholic 362
12. Lansing Christian 368
13. Jackson 374
14. Fowlerville 376
15. Mason 387
16. Holt 390
17. TC West “B” 403
18. Clio 441

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