Park boys golf: New-look Wolfpack take the course at Troy BurneA new era in Park boys golf began in earnest on Monday as the Wolfpack hit the course for the 33rd annual Hudson Invitational.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, South Washington County Bulletin
A new era in Park boys golf began in earnest on Monday as the Wolfpack hit the course for the 33rd annual Hudson Invitational.
Boasting a youthful lineup and new head coach in Chad Salay, Park shot a 377 in the 12-team tournament, held at Troy Burne Golf Club in Hudson, Wis.
“It was a tough day to play there with the wind and it’s a tough course,” Salay said. “I feel alright about it. After looking at all the other numbers nobody was going too low. There weren’t a whole lot of low scores. We’re not too far off.”
Salay said the course is one of the hardest Park will play all year. Temperatures in the 40s and wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour didn’t help either.
“The greens are tough,” Salay said. “They’re not used to greens like that. They are really undulated and really large. You get on some of those greens and it’s hard to get down in two puts if you’re not near the pin. It’s just a tough course and not the type of course we see too much.”
Park’s Garrett Mahigan, one of two seniors on the Wolfpack roster, led the way for Park with an 18-hole round of 86. Sophomore Alex Holland carded Park’s second best score on the day with a 96. Senior Jeff Martin shot a 97, sophomore Pat McCarthy scored a 98 and sophomore Cole Lemay shot a 99.
Salay said he was impressed with Mahigan’s early-season score.
“That was a great score for him,” he said. “He was feeling really good about it. That was good to see.”
Tartan won the Hudson Invitational with a five-person 333. Fellow District 833 and Suburban East Conference squad Woodbury had a 350 to take third place.
Salay says he believes tournaments are nearly as important as conference matches.
“Some of these invitationals have been going on a long time and are pretty prestigious. I look at every match as being important,” he said. “Obviously, the conference matches are the ones everyone looks at, but these invitationals are fun too. Everything is important for us.”
The match was first-ever as a head coach for Salay, who took over the Wolfpack after longtime head coach Hank Tressel stepped down this past winter. Salay, a physical education teacher at Grey Cloud Elementary, has been assistant varsity golf coach at Woodbury, an assistant girls hockey coach at Park and has been a golf instructor in the past.
“Practice is one thing, but it’s another thing to get out there and see what they can do against different competition,” Salay said. “It was good to see that and how they compose themselves in that type of setting. I think I learned some things and saw some things we can definitely improve on.”
Park hosted its own tournament at River Oaks Golf Course on Tuesday after the Bulletin went to print. The Wolfpack’s first conference tourney will be April 17 at North Oaks Golf Club. But first, Park travels to Wisconsin Dells, Wis., to play a pair of courses on Friday and Saturday of this week.
Salay said he hopes the experience brings the team together.
“That’s pretty much the reason you do those out-of-town tournaments,” Salay said. “It’s a good way to get the guys together for a couple days at least and bond a bit and have some fun.”