Wildcat golfers look to duplicate recent effort
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

April 3, 2004 -- After shooting a 314 at Legacy Ridge Golf Course in Bonham this week, the SSHS golf team will likely need to duplicate that effort, or even better it, to make it to regional.

Coach Doug Evans believes they can.

Especially after seeing the bent grass greens on the course that will host the District 11-4A golf tournament on Monday and Tuesday. A shotgun start will tee off at 9 a.m.

The greens were much slicker than the Bermuda grass greens the Sulphur Springs team practices on, and it showed up in some of the players' scores.

Though not sophomore Seth Northcutt and freshman Dustin Gideon, who fired a 72 and 76, respectively, to earn the top two individual spots. The putting problems showed up more with senior Caleb Beck, who still shot an 80, sophomore Chase Helm and senior Hutton Harris, Coach Evans said.

"Playing those greens should help them this week with their putting," he advised. "I think we'll see them take some strokes off their scores."

McKinney North is the favorite heading into the district tournament at Legacy Ridge, a 6,800-yard course. The Bulldogs took first and their JV second place last year, with Sulphur Springs finishing third.

The McKinney North varsity has shot over 310 just once this year. But, the Wildcats are steadily lowering their scores each tournament.

McKinney North is the only district team to beat Sulphur Springs in a tournament this year. In winning last weeks' event, the Wildcats beat Sherman by five strokes, Greenville by 34 and Paris by 43.

"This bunch is really hungry," Evans said. "They're fun to coach because they have great work habits. I'm real excited after Wednesday's results of shooting 314. I hope this is an indication that we're peaking at the right time.

"I hope that wasn't the peak and that we can come back Monday and Tuesday and do as well if not better."

He was especially pleased with Northcutt, who shot even par, including a 34 on his second nine, and Gideon, who has carded a sub-80 in three of the five tournaments so far.

"Those two guys have really stepped it up as underclassmen," Evans said. "Seth took a lesson over the weekend and retooled his swing just a little bit and hit the ball as well Wednesday as I've ever seen him. "

He believes if the Wildcats can get three players in the 70s and another around 80, they will have a chance to advance to regional as one of the top two teams from the district.

"We try not to put too much of a focus on a particular score, because you don't want the guys worried so much about the scores rather than the shot they are about to hit," the coach said. "If they just hit each shot the best they can do it, the score will take care of itself.

"These guys have the ability. It's just a question of whether between now and Monday, they can get focused enough and their swing be consistent enough and the conditions right enough to shoot their best."

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