Brodie Kuizenga ties for eighth place to lead Cowboys at Redmond Invitational Golf Tournament

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Trenton Brinkley watches his tee shot on the 12th hole. Brinkley shot a round of 94 on Monday to finish second on the Cowboy team. Crook County finished fifth overall at the six-team tournament, which was held at Juniper Golf Course in Redmond. The Crook County Cowboys played well at times but struggled with consistency as they placed fifth at the six-team Redmond Invitational Golf Tournament, which was held at Juniper Golf Course.

"Juniper is a pretty tough golf course," Crook County head coach Zach Lampert said. "There is really no forgiveness out there. There is nowhere to hide. If you are having trouble hitting the ball, there is no relief out there."

Lampert added that all five Crook County golfers had at least one hole with a score of nine, and some of the team had multiple holes with high scores.

"It adds up pretty quick when you have a hole that is that bad," he said. "That's where consistency comes into it, and we are working on that. Hopefully as the season goes on, you will see less and less of those big numbers."

The Cowboys finished with a team score of 404, two strokes better than in their opening tournament of the year, which was held before spring break at Brasada Ranch.

Both courses are similar in that if you miss the fairway, you are immediately out in sandy and rocky desert. One mistake once you are off line and, Lampert noted, scores can get high really fast.

"You hit a bad shot, and you are in the desert, and it can take you three or four swings just to get out of it if you don't make the right choice," he said. "So it can escalate quickly."

Still, the Cowboys showed improvement over the first tournament of the year, despite the fact that Hogan Smith, who earned the team's No. 1 spot at the Brasada tournament, struggled to a score of 122 and didn't even factor in the team scoring.

"Hogan had kind of a rough day," Lampert said. "His swing kind of left him. It's one that you throw away and move on to the next one. He will get back into the low 90s and maybe even better."

With Smith struggling, Brodie Kuizenga stepped up, leading the team with a score of 90, good enough to tie for eighth place in the tournament.

"He held it together," Lampert said. "He struggled a little bit early and then he kind of figured it out and started playing better towards the end."

The tournament was the first of three rounds of the Central Oregon Golf Classic, and Lampert was pleased that Kuizenga is in the hunt for a top 10 spot in the Classic's final standings.

"That was pretty good and that was the first leg of the Central Oregon Classic too," Lampert said of Kuizenga's performance. "He's in the mix for a top 10 there if he can play well in the next two events, which are towards the end of the season."

Trenton Brinkley also had a strong showing on the day, posting a score of 96, his first varsity round with a score in the 90s.

"Trenton played pretty well, too," Lampert said. "It was good to see improvement."

Cayden Lowenbach also had a solid day, with a round of 106, the best of his career.

"Not a lot of tournament experience under his belt, and he's playing pretty steady," Lampert said of Lowenbach's performance. "He's got a pretty good swing, and if he can cut out a couple of high holes, he will be in the 90s, too."

The final Cowboy to count in the scoring was Matthew Fraser, who posted a score of 114.

William Fleck of Summit ran away with medalist honors at the tournament, finishing with a three-under par round of 69.

No other golfer was even close to par, with Summit's Jackson Murphy finishing second with a score of 77. Ridgeview's Isaac Buerger finished third with a score of 78, and Luke Simoneau of Summit was fourth with a score of 80.

 - Cayden Lowenbach plays a chip shot onto the green on the 11th hole at Juniper Golf Course. Lowenbach posted a round of 106 at the tournament. With three golfers in the top five, Summit ran away with the team title, posting a team score of 313.

No other team even came close as Bend finished second with a score of 366 and Ridgeview took third with a round of 377.

Redmond edged the Cowboys for fourth with a score of 397, while Mountain View finished sixth with a round of 415.

Lampert expects the team's scores to drop dramatically in the coming weeks, starting with today's tournament at Eagle Crest.

Not only are the courses that the Cowboys are playing on somewhat more forgiving — and more like Meadow Lakes where they practice — Lampert expects the entire team to show continued improvement.

"You start talking about five or six shots per kid and all of a sudden you are right in the mix with the teams that we have been pretty competitive with over the last few years," he said. "It's a young team, and they are going to have some rough outings, but they are all going to bet better together. They are pushing each other, so when you get them all in the 80s or 90s, your team score can look pretty good, and that's what we are shooting for."

The Eagle Crest Tournament tees off at 11 a.m.

The Cowboys play again on Monday at Bend Country Club and then finish a busy week with a tournament at Broken Top on Friday, April 13.

Redmond Invitational

At Juniper Golf Course

Par 72

Team scores — Summit, 313, Bend 366, Ridgeview 377, Redmond 397, Crook County 404, Mountain View 415.

Medalist — William Fleck, Summit, 69.

Top 10 — William Fleck, Summit, 69. 2. Jackson Murphy, Summit, 77. 3. Isaac Buerger, Ridgeview, 78. 4. Luke Simoneau, Summit, 80. 5. Parker Krovisky, Bend, 85. 6. Hayden Klein, Summit, 87. 7. Hayden Perry, Redmond, 89. T8. Cort Benner, Bend, 90. T8. Brodie Kuizenga, Crook County. 10. Tyler Floyd, Bend, 91.

Crook County (404) — Brodie Kuizenga, 48-42 — 90. Trenton Brinkley, 45-49 — 94. Cayden Lowenbach, 53-53 — 106. Matthew Fraser, 55-59 — 114. Hogan Smith, 63-59 — 122.

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