One made putt. One solid up and down from a bunker. A chip out of trouble and back onto the fairway. No three-putts. And let’s face it, a good bounce off the cart path or a fortunate bounce off a tree that lands in your fairway and not another fairway.
There are a lot of ways to win a golf tournament by one stroke – a great shot, a lucky bounce, a putt that doesn’t rim out, etc., etc., etc. While Dexter didn’t win a golf tournament, the Dreadnaughts did win a spot in the State Finals after defeating Woodhaven by one stroke on Tuesday to finish in the top three at the Dearborn Regionals at Dearborn Country Club.
The Dreadnaughts fired a team score of 325 and beat the Warriors by a single stroke and will join Skyline and Saline on June 11-12 at Forest Akers West in East Lansing for the D-1 State Finals.
Tuesday’s performance allows for an impressive season to continue for one more round – against the best in the state. Dexter finished the season in second place in the SEC White Division (behind Chelsea). They finished 10-3 and took fourth overall in one of the best golf conferences in the state (the top three teams in Dearborn were from the SEC – Skyline, Saline and Dexter).
Dexter coach Greg Palkowski knew it was going to be close – before, during and after the round. He was proud of the way his team responded.
“We just needed to stay patient, remain focused the entire round and make good decisions when we found ourselves in tough situations,” said Palkowski. “The course was in excellent condition with fast greens and some tall rough but the weather conditions were perfect. The team played really well and finished the round strong.”
Palkowski wasn’t surprised at how well his players met the challenge, both of Woodhaven and the Dearborn Country Club course.
“We have been playing extremely well as of late and have been putting in a good amount of practice, so the confidence factor was pretty high going into this Regional event,” he said. “They just needed to go out and execute their game; which they did.”
Senior captain Jack Kolka shot a 75 with a 1-under 35 on the front nine. Junior captain Dominic Sortor tied his season low score of 80. Senior Joey Fracassi shot a season low score of 81. Senior Lucas Koone was plus-7 in his first three holes and finished the remaining 15 holes at plus-10 and fought hard all day. Sophomore Niko Michos found some trouble off the tee but was able to hit some amazing recovery shots to post an 89.
Skyline, the top-rated team in the state, won its third straight Regional title with a team score of 287, 27 shots better than runner-up Saline.