A good starting point
MICHIGAN CITY — Saturday kicked The Masters into high gear with “moving day” at Augusta, and for many of the 11 teams at Michigan City Municipal Golf Course for the Marquette Invitational, it was the first afternoon on the course this boys golf season with a postseason feel.
Chesterton (316) was led by medalist Devin Trusty’s 1-under-par 71, winning the tournament by 13 strokes over runner-up Lake Central (329). La Porte was led by Max Holmes’ 87 to take third place with a team score of 352. Marquette took fourth with a 357, led by No. 1 golfer Michael Sakich’s round of 85, while Michigan City rounded out the top five teams with a 365, including individual runner-up Nick Gushrowski, who shot a 74.
“Playing against teams like Chesterton and Lake Central, it’s a good challenge for us and everyone else out here,” Marquette coach Cody Ward said. “When they’re playing well, they’ll come out here and beat you by about 100 strokes. I wanted a top five finish for our guys and we got that. I was happy about that today.”
Along with Sakich’s 85 (10th place individually), sophomore Robert Pruzin finished with an 87, including a birdie on the par-4 10th hole. He was one of just two golfers on the day to circle a three on his card, while freshman Charlie O’Halloran capped his day with 91 for the Blazers.
″(Robert’s) coming along great,” Ward said. “He’s going to be a really good player, and with Charlie, for him to shoot in the low 90s as a freshman in a tournament like this is great to see. I’m happy with the guys today. They played well and they’re getting better.”
The Slicers did not have a top-10 finisher, but their five qualifying golfers all shot under 96. Along with Holmes’ 87, Cas Pulaski and Jackson Cizewski each shot 88, while Jack Schable posted an 89. Graham Siefker rounded out the La Porte quintet with a 96 to edge Marquette by five strokes for third.
For City and coach Jeff Edinger, it was a day of improvement where he felt his team could really build off some of the teams that they’ll see later in the season.
“I think we shot about 20 strokes better than we did last year for the Marquette Invite. I think we shot about 383 here last year,” Edinger said. “That’s a good start, I would say. We’ve got some room for a couple of our guys to improve. They came in a little higher than they have been lately, but hey, it’s the first tournament of the season. It’s the first actual competition for us, but they’ve been working. The same guys that played this year minus one, all played in this last year. They’ve worked really hard. I really think they’ll show some good growth from here.”
Along with Gushrowski’s 74 that nabbed him a second-place medal, Purdue swimming commit Jack Smith carded an 89 and Jack Attar finished with a 96 as City’s No. 3 player.
“I thought the course played all right today,” Gushrowski said, noting the tee box change on the seventh hole due to standing water. “The greens were all right, too. They really didn’t bounce as much as I thought they were going to. It seemed that they got a little bit slower and I struggled a little bit to adjust to them, but I did better on the back side, so it was a good day.”
New Prairie rounded out the area teams with an eighth-place finish with a 415. Dylan Pohl paced the Cougars with a 100 on his card. Mason Taylor finished with a 102.
“Everything flowed pretty smoothly today,” Ward said on the tournament. “We had to make a couple changes like the tee box on seven, but today went well. It was a great day and I was happy with the turnout. We had about 55 players out there and everyone got in earlier than expected.”
Michigan City’s Nick Gushrowski was runner-up.