On a perfect day for golf, the Dodge City Red Demon golf team barged into Topeka looking for their fourth tournament win of the year in four tries. Monday’s tournament, which was held at Topeka Country Club, would not only offer up a good challenge in terms of course style, but with a field set at 23 teams, the Demons had their work cut out for them from the first tee shot.


On a perfect day for golf, the Dodge City Red Demon golf team barged into Topeka looking for their fourth tournament win of the year in four tries. Monday’s tournament, which was held at Topeka Country Club, would not only offer up a good challenge in terms of course style, but with a field set at 23 teams, the Demons had their work cut out for them from the first tee shot.
     Matched up against a plethora of eastern Kansas schools that are used to playing courses like TCC, the previous best finish for a Dodge City team at this tournament was seventh. Not any longer.
     Behind a seventh place finish from junior Zach Kirby, who fired a 76, and a 16th place finish from Levi Bone, who carded a 79, the Demons took home fourth overall with a team total of 318 shots. Winning the team title was Blue Valley North with a 303, Shawnee Mission East shot 309 to finish runner-up, and defending State champions Blue Valley West shot 316 to finish just ahead of Dodge City.
     “Fourth place is a good finish in this tournament, it’s a difficult golf course and if you don’t hit the ball straight, you’re going to pay for it,” said head coach Jim Mapel. “This was a good learning experience to play this golf course. We had a good team total, but we had three of the schools from Kansas City finish ahead of us. They are just on a different level than we are, being used to playing courses like this. We’re a good team right now, but we need to step up and become a great team in the next month.”
     Other scores for the Demons include Brad Hutton (81), Jace Larson (82), Zach Norton (87), and Brayden Williams (92). Dodge City was coming off three consecutive tournament wins, including their most recent one at Mariah Hills Golf Course in Dodge last week. During that competition, four Demon golfers shot in the 70s, with five finishing in the top 10. Monday at Topeka Country Club showed just what kind of a beast those eastern Kansas courses can be.
     “Zach’s round of 76 is a solid round on this golf course, but we need to have him or Levi or whoever else to shoot a little bit lower scores to compete for a title,” Mapel said. “A golf course like this can wear a player down mentally because it’s hole after hole that you need to stay focused.”
     Working in their favor, as was the case for every golfer on the course, the playing conditions were perfect with the breeze blowing under five miles per hour, and the sun keeping the course running fast and true. It was a good test for the Demons, who can now go back to the drawing board as they prepare for their next tournament in Hutchinson on Friday afternoon, which includes one of the largest field in the country with 36 teams.
     “We will see some of these same teams at Hutch, which is good, and it will gives us another chance to measure up against them,” Mapel said. “The course there is a little more wide open and the scores will be much lower, something we need to prepare for. We just need to work on minimizing the mistakes that we make and we’ll talk about that at practice. But like I’ve said before, these two tournaments come at a good time on our schedule.”