By Mitchell Boatman

TWIN LAKE – Reeths-Puffer golfer Cody Petroski made his Greater Muskegon Athletic Association Boys Golf Tournament debut a memorable one on Wednesday.

The freshman played the Stonegate Golf Club course like a seasoned veteran, shooting a 71 to win the individual city title in his very first try.

“It feels good,” Petroski said. “I just went out and hit everything pure.”

Reeths-Puffer coach Chris Carter was not surprised by his freshman’s performance.

Reeths-Puffer’s Cody Petroski follows through and watches his final putt of the day. Photo/Jason Goorman

“He’s probably the best ball striker in the state,” Carter said. “He’s really solid. He can’t putt worth a lick right now. When he gets his putts down to 31 or 32 a round he’s going to be unbeatable.”

Petroski hit putts when it mattered on Wednesday, though. Needing an eagle on the 18th hole to finish under par, the freshman delivered.

“I came out and putted decent today I guess,” Petroski said. “I drained some birdie putts. Just keeping confidence in myself and not getting mad over bad shots (was the key).”

The team competition was tight once again, with Reeths-Puffer edging out Mona Shores for the championship by just three strokes. That makes back-to-back city for the Rockets, after the Sailors had won 17 out of the previous 18 tournaments.

The Rockets posted a team score of 316, three shots ahead of the Sailors at 319. Whitehall finished in third with a 328. Rounding out the tournament were WMC at 358, Montague at 360, North Muskegon at 425, Fruitport at 433, Muskegon Catholic at 442, Oakridge at 433 and Orchard View at 470.

“Every shot counts – it’s what we talk about on a daily basis,” Carter said. “I told the guys whoever could finish out the last couple holes is going to be city champ. We had a lot of pars on the last few holes. We finished strong.”

The Rockets were able to come out on top despite not having an official team practice this season. Due to weather and rescheduled meets, R-P has played only events, and won’t practice until Thursday.

“We actually haven’t had a true team practice yet,” Carter said. “We played every day last week except Thursday and every day so far this week. But these guys are golfers. They know how to go out there and grind.”

Puffer junior Zach Petroski, Cody’s older brother, says winning back-to-back titles is great, but not the end of the Rockets’ success.

“We want to make it to state as a team, that’s our biggest goal of the year,” said the elder Petroski, who shot an 80 to finish tied for fourth in the individual competition.

Eli Pinter also finished in the top 10 for R-P. He shot an 81, good for a sixth place tie. Reid Sayles shot an 84 and Drew Carter hit a 93 to round out the champion Rockets.

Mona Shores had four golfers finish in the top 10. David Ackley (76, second place), Logan Armstrong (80, fourth place tie), Garrett Norris (81, sixth place tie) and Erick Hannahs (82, eighth place tie) powered the Sailors’ second place finish.

The other three top 10 finishers all hail from Whitehall. Steven Cullen shot a 77 to finish third while Evan Mikkelson and Michael Helyman both finished at 82 and tied for eighth.