Niles’ Ben Landgraf wins state golf championship despite adverse conditions

Published 5:12 am Monday, October 18, 2004

By By ADAM FISHER / Niles Daily Star
Despite playing through what he called the worst weather he's ever played in, Niles' Ben Landgraf came through the Division 2 state golf finals as champion Saturday.
Landgraf shot a 36-hole total of 150 to win the championship by one stroke over Kris Belcher of team-champion Trenton at The Meadows Golf Course in Allendale.
The adverse conditions Saturday forced Landgraf to shoot a seven-over-par 79 Saturday, but it was good enough to hold off Belcher. In Friday's first round, Landgraf carded a one-under-par 71 to tie for the lead.
He called his performance Friday one of the best rounds he's ever played.
Landgraf's fast start on Friday came courtesy of two eagles and two birdies. His first eagle came on the very first hole.
After the first round, Landgraf was tied for the lead with Lapeer West's Chris Osentoski heading into the finals.
The second day the Niles senior didn't enjoy as much success, but scores were high throughout the field because of rain, wind and cold.
On his final three holes, Landgraf bogeyed, triple-bogeyed, then bogeyed again to finish six-over par, but good enough for the championship.
Putting was a strong point for Landgraf over the weekend. In his first round performance, he needed 28 putts. Though his score was much higher Saturday, he used two fewer putts, 26.
This was the first state golf championship Landgraf has played in. He missed the cut for state by one stroke last year, and was only a few strokes off the pace his sophomore year.
At the Division 3 tournament at Eagle Crest Golf Course in Ypsilanti, Dowagiac failed to make it out of the first round.
The Chieftains finished with a score of 369 Friday, placing them 20th of 24 teams. Only the top 12 advanced to Saturday's final round.
Scott Wilkinson shot an 83 to lead Dowagiac, followed by David Maxey with 87, Nicholas Krizinski with 99, Adam Carlson with 100 and Ken Scott with 108.
For complete results, see Scoreboard on Page 9.