NORWAY – Manistique’s Ryan McEvers said he would have been happy with a score in the 80s at Wednesday’s Upper Peninsula Division 2 Final.
That makes sense, considering his coach Tim Noble couldn’t remember him recording a score in the 70s at a tournament before.
McEvers, a junior, stepped up at the right time, shooting an incredible 74 at Oak Crest. That score won him the Division 2 individual title and pushed the Emeralds to the team championship.
Had he shot in the 80s, Manistique would have finished behind Painesdale Jeffers, which ended three strokes back in second place.
Noble thought a Manistique boys and girls team title sweep was possible. But he admitted he was more confident in the girls, who won as well Wednesday.
That is, until McEvers shot an even-par 36 on the front nine, the best of anyone on the course.
“I knew we were suddenly in it for the boys,” Noble said.
It was the Emeralds’ first team championship since 2007.
They did it with two players in the 70s – Landon Dougherty shot a 78. Manistique finished with a score of 331, while Jeffers was at 334. The Jets were led by individual runner-up Todd Rautiola, who carded a 76.
Jeffers didn’t have anyone else in the 70s, though. They didn’t have anybody have a day like McEvers, whose personal best in any round of golf before Wednesday was a 78.
“I’d be happy shooting in the 80s today,” he said. “But the guys that I was playing with were fun, and I felt really good about it. I didn’t look at my scorecard until the end, and it all added up nicely.”
Noble said he was texting McEvers’ dad updates all day – “and he couldn’t believe it.” McEvers’ teammates surrounded him afterward, and they expressed their disbelief as well.
“I think I counted I only had two bad shots,” McEvers said. “My drives were straight. Putting from the fringe probably saved me a lot. But it was all coming together nicely.”
Oak Crest may have lent a helping hand.
“This course is made for a player like Ryan – short, precision,” Noble said.
Norway’s Carson Chartier shot a 77 to finish third. Hancock’s Jackson Sintkowski shot a 78 to match Dougherty in fourth.
PHOTOS (Top) Manistique, including individual medalist Ryan McEvers, celebrate Wednesday’s championship sweep. (Middle) Norway's Carson Chartier chips toward the green at Oak Crest. (Below) The Emeralds’ Grant Mason follows his shot. (Photos by Jason Juno.)