High school golf: Christensen, Everson lead MCC golfers
SLAYTON -- When Adam Christensen and Grant Everson were in eighth grade, Murray County Central didn't even have a golf team. Now seniors, the duo is looking to lead the Rebels to their fourth consecutive trip to state. "When we first started play...
SLAYTON - When Adam Christensen and Grant Everson were in eighth grade, Murray County Central didn’t even have a golf team.
Now seniors, the duo is looking to lead the Rebels to their fourth consecutive trip to state.
“When we first started playing we just wanted to play,” Christensen said. “We weren’t thinking about making state or anything like that. But we had some older guys who were pretty good and we ended up making it right away.”
“Every year we’ve had a good mix of leadership from the older guys and youth,” Everson added. “I think that’s what’s helped us these last three years.”
Both are entering the 2015 spring off strong finishes to their junior campaigns. Everson won the Section 3A South individual title with a 76 and followed that with a first-place finish at the Section 3A tournament at 77. At the Class A state tournament in Becker, he carded a two-day total of 165 to take 19th overall, a vast improvement on his 43rd-place finish at state as a sophomore.
Christensen played his best golf on the big stage, shooting a 76 both days for a total score of 152. After coming in second with an 83 and an 80 in the previous two postseason tournaments, his score at state put him in third place. It was only two strokes off of the 150 carded by state champion Brock Bliese from Mounds Park Academy and one higher than Martin County West’s Cordell Weber.
Everson said seeing little bit of a rise in his scores at state - he shot an 83 and an 82 - are motivation heading into his senior campaign.
“I feel like I was playing my best golf at sections and subsections,” he said, “Going into state I had pretty high expectations and I didn’t quite play up to that. This year I’m going to just play my best and what happens, happens.”
For Christensen, 2014 marked the second straight year he’d finished in the top 20. He took 18th as a sophomore before making the big leap to third his junior year. One of the players who finished in front of him, Weber, graduated last spring. He will, however, have to deal with Bliese again. The defending state champion was only an eighth-grader when he took the title.
“That’s good motivation,” Christensen said. “He’s a really a good player. To win as an eighth-grader is pretty amazing.”
As a team, MCC took seventh place last spring with a two-day total score of 702. That was one year after it took second place the year before. Five of the six golfers from the state tournament are back this year. Christensen and Everson will be joined by ninth-grader Tyler Groves, sophomore Brad Schreiber and eighth-grader Jack Pierson, all of whom got valuable experience playing on the big stage last season.
Having started with the program as freshmen, the two seniors know what it’s like to be the young guys on the squad. They’ve since made the transition to being the elder statesmen, the leaders on a relatively young group.
“I didn’t really think it was a big deal,” Everson said in terms of having to step up in his role. “We’ve all been golfing since we were little so I don’t think age is really a factor.”
Though both have already shown they are among the state’s best on the course, there is always room for improvement. Early this season, the nice weather allowed them to get out on the course a bit quicker than is usually the case. But temperatures dipping back down into the 30s and a chilly rain kept them inside Tuesday afternoon. There, they are able to work on ball-striking and their putting strokes, but it doesn’t compare to being out on the course, something each hopes can happen again sooner rather than later.
No matter how long they’re stuck indoors, however, the seniors probably won’t have much rust to shake off. After the school season ended, the clubs and tees were far from ready to be stuck in a closet somewhere. Each spent plenty more time on the links. While that was technically practice, it really wasn’t so.
“Golf is a hobby for both of us,” Everson said. “It’s something that we wanna do in our free time. So getting out and practicing isn’t too hard.”