NORTH PLATTE — Baily Hort fired a career-best 85 to pace the Gering boys golf team at the season-opening North Platte Invitational on Friday at Iron Eagle Golf Course in North Platte.
Hort, just a sophomore, was competing in his first tournament at the varsity level. His team-leading score secured him an eighth-place finish among a tough field of Class A and B teams.
“For him to go out and do what he did in the first tournament, I was really happy for him,” Gering coach Keaton Green said of Hort. “Baily came out last year as a freshman and didn’t really have any golf experience. He played his heart out all summer long. You can tell he put in the time and worked hard on his game. He’s got a lot of confidence in what he does and he’s a competitor.”
Gering managed a seventh-place finish in the team standings with a 416. Hort was the only individual medalist for the Bulldogs.
“The first tournament came pretty quick. It’s an early tournament down in North Platte,” Green said. “Overall, we didn’t play as well as I thought we could have with the exception of Baily shooting 85. I know the other guys are capable of better scores. They just didn’t play as well as they could have. Nerves were probably part of it, and Iron Eagle is always a tough course to play this early in the cold weather we had.”
Also finishing for the Bulldogs on Friday were Alex Lupher with a 109, Austin Kaufman with a 110, Kraiger Ebbers with a 112, and Damian Hort with a 120.
Despite some of the high scores, Green said it was good to see his players in tournament action for the first time this season.
“It’s a starting point,” he said. “The tournament scores overall were higher, and ours were much higher than we’d like them to be. But we’ve got that first one behind us now, so we can go from there.”
North Platte won the team championship with a 332. Grand Island finished second with a 347 and Hastings was third with a 364.
North Platte’s Cameron Bargell claimed the individual title with a round of 75. He was the lone golfer in the field to break 80.
With the next tournament scheduled for Tuesday in Sidney, Green said he’s eager to see just how much the Bulldogs can improve.
“I know our overall team score of 416 is nowhere near what we’re capable of, so I expect that to significantly come down over the next few weeks in the coming tournament,” he said. “We definitely have a young team. We’re doing a lot of teaching and a lot of learning. We have a lot of room to grow.”
North Platte 332, Grand Island 347, Hastings 364, McCook 385, North Platte JV 389, Lexington 393, Gering 416, Gothenburg 422, Ogallala 438, Cozad 439
Individual Top 10
1, Cameron Bargell, North Platte, 75. 2, Eric Marble, Hastings, 81. 3, Matt Schartz, North Platte, 84. 4, Keaton Hope, North Platte, 84. 5, Jeff Allen, Grand Island, 84. 6, Grayson Flanders, North Platte JV, 85. 7, Dylan Holloway, Grand Island, 85. 8, Baily Hort, Gering, 85. 9, Tyson Block, Lexington, 86. 10, Troy Hlavaty, North Platte, 89.