Best in the state battle for best in the county

By: Christian Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published September 17, 2015


WATERFORD — Lake Orion High junior Moyea Russell knew while warming up on the Pontiac Country Club driving range that something special could be in store.

“I was concentrating on everything and just really felt in the game,” she said.

Russell took that feeling to the course and turned in a 4-under-par round to win medalist honors Sept. 16 at the Pontiac Country Club.

“I knew I was under, but I didn’t know what score I had until I came off the course and everyone told me I shot 68,” Russell said.

She also eagled her final hole to help propel her squad to the team championship. In the tournament, each team sends out five golfers, with the top four scores counting toward the team.

Lake Orion finished with 327, one shot ahead of Novi High and two in front of Rochester High.

Troy High (331), Bloomfield Hills High (333), Farmington Hills Mercy (334), South Lyon High (336), Rochester Adams (354), Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day (358), Bloomfield Hills Marian (366), Rochester Hills Stoney Creek (371), Troy Athens (371), Birmingham Seaholm (373), Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood (374), Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (386), North Farmington (410) and Holly High (431) rounded out the field.

For the first time, the tournament had live scoring. Lake Orion coach Monty Gallaher said it was “gut-wrenching” watching the scores fluctuate down the stretch.

“It was push and pull the whole way. I have not seen this close of a competition with this many teams,” he said, as the top seven squads were separated by nine strokes. “This is special.”

It was Lake Orion’s second straight county title and third overall.

The field featured 11 teams ranked in the top 10 of the state across the four divisions, according to the Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association’s Sept. 1 poll, including Rochester at No. 1 in Division 1. Lake Orion is fourth in the poll.

“This is such a tough tournament. There’s probably five teams that could have won it,” Rochester coach Jeff Haney said. “The girls have really stepped up this year. If we can play our best, then we can achieve our goals (of winning a state title).”

Troy’s John Getzan, coach of the No. 2-ranked Colts in D-1, said his team battled to stay near the top of the leaderboard.

“It’s a course that rewards good shots, but mistakes are also going to cost you. I was happiest, especially in the middle of the round, that the girls fought through it,” Getzan said. “I like to think we’ll gain some confidence out of all of this.”

The postseason begins with regional action Oct. 7-10.