But, then again, the Cowboys should have felt at home as it is their home golf course and they were serving as host to the Abilene Invitational.
“It always helps (playing on home course),” Abilene coach Mark Willey said. “Just being familiar with the surroundings. You are more confident, you are able to read the greens better. It worked out for us today.”
The Cowboys were led by Casey Sexton, who shot a 39-40 – 79 and finished third in a 3-way playoff for the individual championship.
“It was a lot of fun,” Sexton said of playing in Abilene. “I’d say it gave me a little bit of ad advantage, but not too much. It is a pretty easy course. It is simple.”
Clay Center’ Brandon Nash shot a birdie on that 1-hole playoff to win the individual title. Concordia’s Connor Lamm finished with a par on the playoff to finish in second place individually while Sexton had a bogey on the playoff hole to finish in third place.
“I played well starting off the back nine,” Sexton said. “I was one up through five and I just stupid mistakes like I couldn’t make a putt on these last four holes.”
Sexton and Lamm were the leaders in the clubhouse after the front nine as both golfers shot 39 on the front nine. Nash, however, made their hopes of just a 2-man playoff die as he fired the best 9-hole score of the tournament on the back nine.
Nash fired a 43 on the front nine, but came to life on the back nine with an even-par round of 36.
Nash’s back nine began with a birdie on No. 10. Nash parred Nos. 11 and 12, had a double bogey on No. 13, a bogey on No. 14 before birding No. 15 and 17 before finishing with a par on No. 18 to force the 3-man playoff.
Lamm, meanwhile, opened with a bogey at No. 1, double bogeyed 2, birdied 3 and bogeyed No. 4. Lamm had a bogey at 6 before having a birdie at No. 8 to finish with a 39 for his front nine.
On Nash’s front nine he had a double bogey at the par-3 second hole and followed with a bogey at the par-3 third hole and a double at the par-4 fourth hole and a triple at the par-4 fifth hole.
Nash parred the last four holes of his front nine to finish with a 43 and propel him onto the back nine where he shot even par.
Lamm dropped four shots on his opening four holes of the back nine as he parred No. 10 before having a double at 11 followed by back-to-back bogeys at 12 and 13. He then settled down by parring 14, 15, 16 and 17 before finishing with a bogey at 18.
Lamm and Sexton were playing in the same 4-some, which played the tournament together after starting at the No. 1 tee.
Sexton bogeyed Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 7 on his front nine and only had one birdie, which came at No. 9. He then opened his back nine with a bogey at No. 10 and bogeyed 14, 15 and 19 to finish with his 39-40 – 69.
“I played alright,” Sexton said. “I need to eliminate stupid mistakes like I 3-putted on 17 for par. I had like a 15-footer for eagle and I lipped that eagle putt then I lipped my birdie putt.”
Abilene’s other top 10 individuals were Justin Linn (41-41 – 82), Jacob Harms (41-42 – 83), Thomas Cooper (44-44 –88) and Ryan Kreutzer (-45 –89).
Concordia was second as a tema with a 343 while Wamego finished in third with a 361.
“We played well,” Willey said. “We kind of played like the weather. It was a nice day and our varsity kids really played well. We get three of the top of five individuals and win the 4-man, so it was a good day.”