NORFOLK - Earlier this year, Shane Hess shot a 73 at the Norfolk Country Club. Weeks later, that exact same score would have earned the Columbus High senior a gold medal
As it were, Hess instead walked away empty-handed but proud nonetheless for finishing his varsity career at the Class A boys state golf championship on Wednesday afternoon.
The lone Discoverer at the state tournament carded a 86, which left him in a tie for 41st place out of a field of 75.
"It definitely was not the score he was hoping for or was capable of playing," head coach Rick Benson said after the tournament. "Some mental mistakes maybe or just some things that happened. He had three holes that really probably cost him placing in the top fifteen."
The top 15 is the cutoff for state medals. Hess missed the mark by six shots.
Many in the field shot higher scores than normal, which may have been the result of windy conditions.
The tournament was scheduled for a Tuesday, Wednesday, 36-hole format before relentless rain on Tuesday shortened it to a single round.
Hess began play with a par before two bogeys and a double over the next four holes had him 4-over.
"On the second hole it faded to the right and got down behind some trees and he made a bogey there," Benson said. "The third hole was the double and then he bogeyed the fourth hole. That stretch right there really kind of set the tone. But he was still in it pretty decently."
Hess seemingly started to find his footing during the next few holes and made the turn for the back at 5-over.
But a bogey, double and another bogey on 10, 11 and 12 quickly ended that momentum.
Hole 14 was the high point for Hess, who landed his ball on the green after an excellent tee shot. He rolled in a putt on the next stroke for a birdie, but hole 15 ended in triple bogey ending any outside shot at a medal.
"He went bogey, double bogey, bogey to start the back nine," Benson said. "Then it put him in a hole where he really had to play well after that."
Hess ended the day at 14-over par.
Norfolk senior Luke Kluver took home the state championship for the third time after shooting a 74 and defeating Creighton Prep sophomore Jacob Boor by one stroke.
He had a rough start as well, bogeying four, five, six and seven after a birdie on one. It took a birdie on the 18th hole for Kluver to eke out the win.
Creighton Prep took home the team title with a score of 313 beating out Lincoln Southwest by two strokes.
Despite coming up shy of his state tournament medal expectations, head coach Rick Benson said he was still proud of the example Hess set for former teammates who will return next season.
"He's going to leave a big impact on our program," Benson said. "His dedication, his determination and what he did in the summer time was a great example. He played a lot. He played in tournaments. He practiced a lot. It really improved his scores. That example is going to leave a lasting impact on our program."
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com
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