Niles tops Dowagiac, Brandywine in season opener

Published 10:18 am Thursday, March 28, 2024

BUCHANAN — Mild weather greeted golfs for their season opener at Orchard Hills Country Club Monday afternoon.

Temperatures in the lower to mid-60s allowed host Niles, Dowagiac and Brandywine kick off their 2024 campaigns.

The Vikings shot 189 to win the non-conference match, while the Chieftains were second with a 206 and the Bobcats third with a 231.

“We got lucky to have a great day like that in March and Orchard Hills is a fantastic venue for our season opener,” said Niles Coach Dan Brawley. “Dowagiac and Brandywine have some great kids playing golf and we all enjoyed the day. Many of our players struck the ball well and really played solid enough to post some good numbers, however, we need to tighten up our short game, too many three putts on a course that we play four or five times a week. This team will keep working and as long as we improve every week we should be competitive in the Wolverine Conference.”

Niles’ Aiden Krueger earned medalist honors as he shot a 42. The Vikings also got a 44 from Landon Martin, a 49 from Gavyn Luke and a 55 from Adam Jackson.

Dowagiac coach Bob Turner said his team struggled a bit as they tried to settle into playing their first match of the season.

“Weather was good, a little windy, but it was great to be out,” he said. “That is the first match we have had before spring break in quite a while. We had four guys playing in their first golf match, so we had some guys dealing with nerves.”

Dane Spagnoli and Travis Rehborg both shot 47 to lead the Chieftains, who also got a 53 from Luke Spagnoli and a 63 from Cayden Dorman.

Turner said that his veteran players struggled with nerves like his newcomers.

“Our returning players had their share of bad shots too,” he said. “We know we can play better than we did but again we were happy to be out. Thanks to Dan Brawley and Niles for inviting us and the staff at Orchard Hills is always great.”

Brady Wright and Brock Dye shot 56 to lead the Bobcats. Xander Curtis finished with a 59 and Connor Dye shot 60.