KEARNEY, Neb. — Grand Island Central Catholic coach Craig Rupp knew his team had a good chance of repeating as Class C champ. What he didn’t realize is that his team would do it in dominating fashion.
The Crusaders tallied a two-day score of 630. Their nearest competitor — Lincoln Christian — finished with a score of 647 at the Nebraska state golf championship at Kearney Country Club.
“We played all right,” Rupp said. “I think we could have played a lot better. It’s good that we didn’t play our two best rounds of golf and still came out on top. That was a blessing in disguise. We battled (the conditions).”
Eshan Sood led the way for GICC. Sood was tied for second after the first day with a 79 and in striking distance of the lead. After shooting another 79 on Wednesday, Sood finished tied for fourth with Lincoln Christian’s Dana Van Ostrand and four strokes behind the overall champion, Brook Klinetobe of Stanton.
Sood said the course was more of a challenge as the day went on.
“In the morning, the course was really moist,” he said. “The same thing happened yesterday, too. Toward the afternoon, everything dried out, and the greens got a little quicker.”
He wasn’t the only one to notice how much harder the course got. Klinetobe entered the day tied for sixth place after shooting a 76 in the opening round. On Wednesday, Klinetobe shot 73 to hold off the rest of the field, ending with a combined score of 149, two strokes better than Kimball’s Jordan Greenwood.
“The first day was pretty rough,” Klinetobe said. “I knew if I fixed some stuff from the first day, and I knew if I shot around even par (today) I would be in the hunt.”
As for winning the tournament, Klinetobe said “it feels pretty good.”