Cathedral scratches at state

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 9, 2009

BRANDON — The game of golf has a thick rulebook. Breaking one of the rules, even one that seems innocuous, can spell disaster.

The Cathedral golf team learned that lesson the hard way when a rules violation resulted in a disqualification that cost the Green Wave second place in the MHSAA Class 1A State Tournament Friday.

St. Aloysius won the tournament with a two-day team score of 629.

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Thrasher was second with a score of 728 and Puckett finished third, with a score of 780.

Cathedral’s score would have been 710 if not for the disqualification.

“The rules are the rules,” Cathedral golf coach Kurt Russ said. “I have no problem with the disqualification because we broke a rule.”

The violation occurred on the 11th hole, when Green Wave junior Elliot McCann hit his ball into the woods.

McCann searched for his ball but couldn’t find it, so he dropped another one, giving himself a penalty stroke, and played the new ball.

McCann’s original ball was then found and he went back and played it instead of continuing on with the new ball as the rules dictate.

McCann’s playing partner turned in the violation at the end of the round, and McCann was disqualified.

The top four scores from each team count toward the team score, and since Cathedral only took four golfers to the tournament, they didn’t have four scores to turn in.

Therefore, instead of finishing in second place, the Green Wave were disqualified.

“We’re a young team, and they learned a hard lesson,” Russ said. “Hopefully we can move on from that.”

Sophomore Steve Scarborough once again posted the best score for Cathedral, following up Thursday’s 79 with an 83 on Friday.

Avery Middleton was next with an 87, followed by Aaron Sandifer, who shot a 94, six strokes better than what he shot on Thursday.

“Aaron played great,” Russ said. “I was very proud of him.”

McCann had carded an 89 before the disqualification.

Even though the golf season ended on a sour note, Russ said he was pleased with the progress the team made throughout the season.

He said he is looking forward to improving even more next year.

“I see us working much harder on our short game,” Russ said. “The chipping and putting is still not very consistent.

“They need to play golf almost year-round so they don’t come back next spring and have to get their whole swing back.”