Lutheran North’s Sparks wins second golf state title

By: Jason Carmel Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published June 13, 2016

 Macomb Lutheran North senior Scotty Sparks finished the Division 3 state finals with a two-day score of 141 to give him his second state championship. Sparks is pictured hitting a tee shot during the 2016 Macomb County Invitational.

Macomb Lutheran North senior Scotty Sparks finished the Division 3 state finals with a two-day score of 141 to give him his second state championship. Sparks is pictured hitting a tee shot during the 2016 Macomb County Invitational.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb Lutheran North senior golfer Scotty Sparks won a state title as a sophomore. He took sixth in the 2015 state finals, and was not pleased with his performance.

Sparks, a four-time regional champion, rebounded at this year’s Division 3 state finals, shooting a two-day 141 to win his second state championship.

The D-3 finals took place June 10-11 at Michigan State University.

“This means the world to me to end my high school career (with a state title),” said Sparks, who shot 67 on June 10 and 74 on June 11. “A lot of people don’t realize how badly I wanted this after last year. I just got to work and worked really hard, and it paid off.

“I knew I needed to shoot under par to have a chance at the lead. I started off well, and I just kept it rolling.”

Sparks’ 67 on day one was the low round for the D-3 final. He had a five-shot lead after the first day. 

Day two didn’t start the way Sparks had hoped, he said, as he made a triple bogey on the first hole.

The Lutheran North senior still finished the tournament six strokes better than second-place finishers Justin Kane, of Dundee High, and Carter Bechaz, of Big Rapids High.

“I just had to re-evaluate things on the (second) tee box and just stay relaxed,” Sparks said. “I knew I was still in full control of the tournament if I just played my game.”

Sparks, who will golf next year at the University of Detroit Mercy, said he has hit his driver well all year and that continued at the state finals. Sparks said he thought he hit solid putts on day one and putt well enough on day two to get the job done.

Sparks’ win gives Lutheran North its third individual state champ. He won the D-3 title in 2014, and Zach Mick won the D-3 championship in 2009.

“To bring another state championship to Lutheran North is awesome,” Sparks said. “Over the years, we’ve had an awesome golf program for being a small school.

“Being a smaller school, we don’t get the attention the D-1 teams get, but we compete in the toughest conference in the state (the Catholic High School League), and I compete against all the top players.”

Sparks understands there’s room for his game to improve. He said he’s working on keeping his swing in a groove, bettering his short game from inside 120 yards and putting.

“The short game is the most important part,” Sparks said. “If I can save a couple of strokes from getting up and down or make a few extra birdie putts, that’ll go a long way — at the college level and beyond.”

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