CATLIN – Salt Fork's boys' golf team was riding high for much of this season.
Playing four freshmen, one sophomore and one senior, the Storm was undefeated during the dual- and triangular-meet portion of its season.
Though there were high hopes for a state tournament berth, Salt Fork was unable to advance out of the regionals as a team, missing the cut by 2 strokes. Freshman Jordan Danzl was the only squad member to qualify for state, carding an 80 at Saturday's Class 1A Tuscola Sectional.
"Coming into this season I thought that we would be able to reach the sectional as a team, or maybe even make it out and to state as a team," Danzl said.
"A couple players just had a bad day (at regionals), so we didn't make it. It (stinks) to make it as an individual, but not as a team.
"I was really expecting that at least one of them would make it out with me, or if I didn't make it, that one of them would make it. But I guess they just had an off day, and that happens. That's what golf is."
As for his expectations for this weekend, Danzl hopes he is able to showcase the golf game he is capable of playing.
"I'm not really a contender to win or anything," Danzl said, "but I just hope to do well and play a couple of good rounds and play the best I can."
Danzl will travel to the Prairie Vista Golf Course, in Bloomington, today for a practice round in preparation for his Friday state-meet debut. Danzl never has played the course.
"(This season) I've gotten more experience in tournament play and stuff," he said. "I'm not just playing a casual round anymore. It's serious golf. It's more pressure."
Thus far, Danzl has handled all of that pressure nicely. He credits his ability to his father, Rick, saying he is so competitive as a freshman because "my dad's very competitive. He always tried to make me good at any sport that we ever play with each other. That, and I practice every day and just try and win," he added.
Even with all that practice – and the accomplishment of being one of two freshmen to qualify for the 1A tournament individually – Danzl still recognizes areas of his game that he would like to improve.
"(My strengths and weaknesses) really depend on how I'm playing," Danzl said. "One day I can put the ball exactly where I want to from 200 yards out, but I can't sink a 3-foot putt. Then, some days I can make putts from 40 (feet) but I can't hit a 200-foot-wide fairway, so it kind of depends on what day (I'm having)."
Danzl hopes he will get to enjoy the kind of golf this weekend where all facets of his game come together. After all, the whole season now has been reduced to 36 holes.