Grosse Pointe South boys golf back as one of state’s best

By: Zachary Manning | Grosse Pointe Times | Published May 21, 2019

  Grosse Pointe South’s Christopher Scupholm takes a swing during a tri-match against Utica Ford II and Romeo High May 16 at Rammler Golf Club. The Blue Devils are the defending D-1 state champions.

Grosse Pointe South’s Christopher Scupholm takes a swing during a tri-match against Utica Ford II and Romeo High May 16 at Rammler Golf Club. The Blue Devils are the defending D-1 state champions.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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GROSSE POINTES — After winning a Division 1 state championship one season ago, the Grosse Pointe South boys golf team is back as one of the top teams in the state.

In the Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association May 20 poll, the Blue Devils were ranked No. 8 in D-1.

But even with continued success after last year’s title, South isn’t putting pressure on itself to repeat. The Blue Devils know how difficult that will be, and they have decided to focus on getting better with each shot and each match.

“Are we competitive? Oh yeah. Do I consider this program still one of the top in the state? Sure. Is it possible we could defend? Yes, it is,” coach Rob McIntyre said. “It’s highly competitive, and our guys are working really hard to make it happen, but it’s no easy trick. We’re hoping for it. It’s possible, but we’re just mainly focusing on playing our game and doing things right, and then we’ll end up where we’re supposed to be.”

If the Blue Devils are to make it back to the top, senior Coalter Smith and junior Thomas Sullivan will play a big role. Both were among South’s top three scorers at states last season.

Smith has committed to the University of Wisconsin and has qualified for the sectionals of the U.S. Open.

“It’s my fourth year, so I’ve played the courses a lot,” Smith said. “I know the courses well, and I think I’ve just been playing well, just improvement throughout my four years. I kind of try to tell all the younger guys what I’ve been doing to try to help them.”

Outside of those top two guys, South is looking to fill in the pieces before heading off to regionals and potentially states. Teams can send out up to five golfers, with the top four scores counting toward the team total.

In terms of veteran experience, juniors Charlie Schuetze and Christopher Scupholm were in the state championship lineup last year. McIntyre also noted that he likes to mix up his lineups throughout the year to make sure each player is getting experience.

“It motivates them to where they want to be, and it eliminates the anxiety of trying to compete against people who are very good, very skilled,” McIntyre said.

South will be playing in regional action May 30 at the Orchards Golf Club, with the state finals set to take place June 7-8 at the Fortress in Frankenmuth.

As the tournament approaches, South is aware that it still has things to work on. McIntyre wants to see his group’s short game continue to improve, while Smith believes the team can be more consistent.

Schuetze, Scupholm and Smith all described the state tournament as intense, and they are hoping to bring home the trophy again.

“That’d be huge going back-to-back,” Schuetze said. “This year, since the competition’s a lot tighter with Clarkston (No. 1-ranked) playing really well and with other teams also playing really well, it’s going to be interesting to see who comes out on top.”

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