Hutchins is 3A regional medalist
Scott City senior Marshal Hutchins hits an approach shot during tournament action earlier this season. He will be competing in the state tournament at Hesston on Tuesday.
By Rod Haxton, editor
When Marshal Hutchins stepped onto the Lake Barton Golf Course on Monday afternoon, he had already envisioned how and where he would play each shot.
“I had a good practice round the day before,” noted the Scott Community High School senior. “I knew what shots to hit. I was able to re-create my shots from the day before and follow my game plan.”
Hutchins followed that plan to near-perfection, shooting rounds of 37-39--76 over the 70-par course and running away with the Class 3A regional title by five strokes.
He will be competing in the state tournament on Tues., May 26, at Hesston Golf Park.
Hutchins was very confident with his game heading into regional and showed no signs of faltering during the 18-hole tournament, which was played north of Great Bend. He had a very steady day that included one birdey, three bogeys, two double-bogeys and 12 pars.
“Actually, with one of the double-bogeys I was pretty lucky,” Hutchins admitted with a grin. “I thought it was headed way out-of-bounds and I was reaching for another ball when it hit a tree and stayed in.
“Other than that major mistake, I stayed out of trouble and was getting a lot of pars.”
Which wasn’t easy considering the course conditions. There was a lot of casual water from recent rains that golfers were able to lay away from. And there were also major concerns with the condition of the greens.
“I don’t know if it was winter kill or whether something had been sprayed on the greens, but they were in terrible shape,” Hutchins noted. “With most of the putts it was like playing on a Plinko board - you just hoped that you would end up close to the hole.
“Fortunately, I was doing well with my short game and I gave myself a lot of short par putts. I just tried to keep everything inside six feet.”
Entering the tournament, Hutchins and Lakin’s Wyatt Burnett felt that medalist honors would come down to one of them. Burnett finished second with rounds of 41-40--81.
“We were in the same group and I felt real good after taking a four shot lead on the front nine,” Hutchins said. “That gave me a lot of confidence for the back side.”
It will be Hutchins’ third consecutive trip to the state tournament, qualifying in Class 3A as a sophomore (finishing 24th) and again in Class 4A his junior year.
“I’m heading into state with a lot of confidence and knowing that I can do real well,” says the SCHS senior.
He had an opportunity to play the course once while SCHS was in Hutchinson for state basketball during March. He will have an additional practice round on Monday and possibly Sunday.
“The course is a little longer than most, so I’ll need to be accurate with my longer irons for second shots into the green,” says Hutchins. “But I feel real comfortable with my irons. I was hitting them real well at regional.”
Hutchins also adds that his mental game is stronger now than it was on the two previous state trips.
“My goal is to break into the top 10,” he says.
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