Ludington golfer Chase Lakari was having one of those roller coaster rounds in Monday’s Shelby Invitational at Oceana Golf Club.LSJ Logo incert

Maybe all that drama was too much for his grandfather to watch, because he left the course before the real gut check began.

Lakari battled Spring Lake freshman Nick Krueger in a sudden death playoff before Krueger bogeyed the third extra hole and Lakari made a 2-putt par to win his fourth consecutive individual title in the nine-school tournament.

Both golfers shot 74 to reach the sudden death playoff. Lakari made seven birdies, three pars, seven bogeys, and a double bogey for his 74.

“It was like one of those heart monitors,” chuckled Chase, a senior on the Ludington squad. “Just up and down all day. It was pretty crazy, I mean I didn’t have a par in the back nine. That’s the first time that’s ever happened to me.”

Lakari insisted being a senior wasn’t an advantage over the freshman Krueger. But this was the first time the Krueger ever played the OGC, and that inexperience may have cost him down the stretch.

“I wasn’t surprised I was tied for first, but I was surprised I didn’t play better,” said Krueger. “I made a lot of birdies, but I also made too many bogeys.”

The threat of rain hovered over the players all day, and the wind was at times strong and unpredictable. Krueger appeared to have the advantage off the tee in the playoff, but his approach shots didn’t come close to any real birdie opportunities.

“I was a little nervous at first, but it got a little less stressful as it went along,” Krueger said. “I caught a bad break under the trees on the last hole and it got me.”

Krueger can take solace in the fact that his Spring Lake team won the 9-school tournament. They shot 330 to slip past North Muskegon by two strokes. Ludington was third with 333, followed by Shelby (347) and Whitehall (348).

“We all shot good,” Krueger said about his team. “Nobody shot over 90. We just played our game and played good.”

Only five of the 52 golfers shot in the 70’s. Shelby’s Keaton Inglis finished alone in third place with a 3-over 75. North Muskegon’s Brenden Harris was fourth with a 76, and Pentwater’s Linnea McDonough shot a solid 79.

Two eagles were recorded Monday. Shelby’s Jeffrey Beckman eagled the par five 5th hole. North Muskegon’s Cooper Wojiciki filed another one on the 13th hole, with his also par five.