The best four-man total, the score used at the regional and state tournaments still to come, Abilene lost by three strokes to Concordia.
Justin Linn knows three strokes he would like back.
“I had to take an unplayable lie and I hit a ball out on two,” Linn said before he knew the team totals. “That’s three penalty strokes.”
Abilene’s Casey Sexton finished his round with bogies on 17 and 18 for an 80, second medalist. They are the two hardest holes on the course and he did improve by 10 shots over his score at Wamego.
He said the difference was putting and avoiding penalties.
“Still my putting isn’t where it needs to be,” he said. “That is basically all I am going to be working on this week. I missed four birdie putts within eight feet. That’s where it is.”
In a practice round on Monday he shot 75 at his home course in Abilene.
“Even yesterday my putting wasn’t the greatest,” he said. “I just have to stop thinking about stuff too much; just see the line and putt it.”
One of the biggest surprises this year has been the play of Jacob Harms who shot 79 at Wamego and had a bogie on his last hole at Chapman for an 81 to tie for fourth medalist.
“I’m putting better and I’m more consistent,” he said of this season. “My drives today were pretty decent but I just couldn’t putt. Putts from 10 feet or so, I just couldn’t sink.”
Abilene coach Mark Willey said the team has been “solid” the first two tournaments.
“I don’t think we’ve hit enough balls,” he said. “We have not spent as much time on the range as we should have. Every course condition being different, it’s hard to get a feel around the greens. The Wamego greens were super fast. Today they were just as slow as they were fast last week. That’s a tough adjustment.
“I am happy where we are at but we can play better,” he added.
The first two courses, Wamego Country Club and Indian Hills Golf Course at Chapman, are longer then the next three courses coming up at Abilene, Concordia, Clay Center and Marysville.
“It is longer,” Willey said. “You hit every club in your bag where if we’re playing at home we’re hitting a lot of wedges. We’re not hitting a lot of wedges into the greens on these par fours. We haven’t hit as many wedges in practice as we are going to.
“We’ve had a nice start,” he added. “We’ve had two nice days and I think the kids are excited. We haven’t pushed as hard as we will later. We’re easing into it.
“We do need to find a fifth and sixth man that can have a chance to get into the top four,” Willey said. “We can’t just play the top four. We need that fifth and sixth man to be a factor. This is golf. One of those top four is going to have a bad day. I think it’s a matter of some of those guys getting some experience.”
Using all six scores, Abilene also placed second, just five shots behind Concordia.
The Abilene four-man score was 335. Sexton shot 80, Harms 81, Linn 86 and Thomas Cooper shot 88. Also for Abilene Ryan Kreutzer shot 95 and Trenton Roth shot 96.
Chapman’s Josh Chewning led the Fighting Irish with a 94 and Bryce Winters shot 96. Kody Baer shot 103, Zach Harris shot 104, Tyler Cody shot 105 and Brandt Blixt shot 107.
Medalists: Brandon Nash, CC, 77; Casey Sexton, A, 80; Micah Faberez, Con, 80; Connor Lamm, Con, 81; Jacob Harms, A, 81; Bryan Cerato, SJM, 82.
Six-man team: Concordia 521, Abilene 526, Wamego 559, Chapman 609, Clay Center 618, St. Johns Military 636.
Four-man Team: Concordia 332, Abilene 335, Wamego 354, Clay Center 380, St. Johns Military 395, Chapman 397.