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North Platte wins home invite, sweeps top three spots
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North Platte wins home invite, sweeps top three spots

North Platte wins home invite, sweeps top three spots

The Bulldogs girls golf team poses with their medals after winning the North Platte Invite on Thursday at the River's Edge Golf Course.

North Platte coach Jim Orcutt was pleasantly surprised by his team’s performance Thursday at the North Platte Invite at the River’s Edge Golf Course.

The Bulldogs struggled during Monday practice at the course, so he wasn’t sure what to expect for the invite. What he got was a sweep of the top three spots, four golfers in the top 10 and the team title by 22 strokes as North Platte outscored five other teams.

The Bulldogs finished with a 309, and Scottsbluff, who had golfers place tied for fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth, came in second at 331. They were the only two teams to post a below-400 score.

Even with his team’s overall success, Orcutt said his golfers could have limited some mistakes.

“I’m very happy with the team score, but I know these girls know they can play better than that today,” he said. “Undoubtedly, their goal was to break 300 again, and there’s still time for that.”

Still, River’s Edge can be a tricky course, Orcutt said. Smaller greens with limited fringe and deeper rough not that far away can alter shots that seem relatively close to the hole.

“The greens are a little tricky to read sometimes,” first-place finisher Baylee Steele said. “They have some little tiny turtlebacks every now and then that the ball will go somewhere and you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t know how it did that.’”

If any of that affected Steele’s play, she didn’t show it. The North Platte senior shot a 68, six shots lower than teammate and runner-up Karsen Morrison. Steele shot a 34 on both the front and back nine, the lowest of any competitor.

“I hit a lot of greens today, (I) was hitting my approaches pretty well,” she said. “The driver was going straight and I made a bunch of putts. On days like those, you got to take advantage of it.”

Morrison and Maya Lashley, who finished third, were separated by three strokes. While Lashley had the better front nine (she carded a 38), Morrison’s 35 on the back nine helped secure the second-place finish.

“I thought it was a really nice day out, so obviously helped,” Lashley said. “There were some silly mistakes I made, but overall I figured out my driver. My putts and wedges were pretty good today, so that was definitely beneficial for me in the long run.”

Abbie Jones placed 10th overall with a 90, and Kaylee Carlson came in 15th with a 101. Orcutt said this year is Carlson’s first varsity experience and she’s starting to catch on to her pre-shot routine.

“There are some shots (Carlson) and Abbie both need to kind of get in their bag of tricks so they could be ready for some adverse shot making,” Orcutt said.

Team Results

1, North Platte, 309. 2, Scottsbluff, 331. 3, Cozad, 435. 4, Ogallala, 459. 5, Lexington, 490. 6, Sidney (three golfers), 202.

Individual Results (Top 15)

1, Baylee Steele, North Platte, 68. 2, Karsen Morrison, North Platte, 74. 3, Maya Lashley, North Platte, 77. T-4, Lynzi Becker, Cozad, 80. T-4, Anna Kelley, Scottsbluff, 80. 6, Neilli Heinold, Scottsbluff, 81. 7, Emily Krzyzanowski, Scottsbluff, 84. 8, Halle Shaddick, Scottsbluff, 86. 9, McKenzie Moore, Sidney, 89. 10, Abbie Jones, North Platte, 90. T-11, Dani Nolde, Ogallala, 93. T-11, Jessica Folchert, Ogallala 93. 13, Zoey Salem, Lexington, 94. 14, Haley Holzworth, Scottsbluff, 99. 15, Kaylee Carlson, North Platte 101.

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