COLUMBIA — Out on the course it was hard to ignore the cold 30 mph gusts of wind. But that was only the most obvious concern. There was another unexpected challenge for the Hickman and Rock Bridge boys golf teams Monday at A.L. Gustin Golf Course.
The challenge wasn’t any of the 10 other teams they were playing against. All the players at Monday’s Columbia Classic were the victims of what every golfer dreads, aerated greens.
“The wind you can deal with, but there were holes all over the greens,” said Hickman golfer Cruz Buchanan, who placed first after shooting a 72. “You’d do just as good closing your eyes as you would aiming for the hole.”
On top of the weather and the condition of the greens, the last thing Hickman and Rock Bridge needed was a rivalry.
“Golf is such a different sport, you don’t cheer poorly for other players,” said Rock Bridge golfer Wilson Sundvold, who placed second with a 77. “We are good friends with Hickman. You want to beat them, of course, but you don’t want them to play poorly.”
Buchanan said, “Rock Bridge was really our only rival in this match, but it’s a friendly rival. When we go to a match, we are really just focused on playing our best.”
Rock Bridge finished won the tournament with a 315, while Hickman shot a 328 to place fourth.
"I think the team could have done better,” Rock Bridge coach Doug Daniels said. “But I guess it was good because we still did the best. Our strength is our depth. It’s not so much how good your top players are as it is your fourth and fifth players."