Maize’s Kale Reynolds has a golf day for the record book
Maize junior Kale Reynolds didn’t waste any time Friday putting together the round of his life at Salina Municipal Golf Course.
Competing in the Salina Invitational, Reynolds opened with two birdies and an eagle, and finished with a 7-under-par 63 to capture medalist honors by 11 shots over Salina Sacred Heart’s Brooks Brown.
Reynolds’ bogey-free round, which helped the Eagles win the team title by 16 shots, also topped a list of the state’s best individual scores on the Kansas Coaches Association’s website dating back to 1998. Sterling’s Michael Gellerman, who plays at Oklahoma, shot a 64 in 2011 for the previous best on a grass greens course.
“I didn’t really think it would keep going,” said Reynolds, who began the shotgun start on the par-4 16th and carded a 29 on the back nine. “I figured maybe I’d be giving one back somewhere and then make another birdie somewhere. I just played the same way throughout the whole round.”
With a strong south wind whistling through the 6,500-yard layout, Reynolds rolled in a 10-foot birdie on his opening hole, then hit his tee shot on the 166-yard 17th to within three feet and sank that putt. Maize coach Brad Hornung caught up with Reynolds after his birdie-birdie start.
“Kale’s the type of player that if he wants something, he’ll ask,” Hornung said. “He didn’t say a thing about how he was doing.”
After taking advantage of the downwind par-5 18th with a 10-foot eagle, Reynolds toured the front nine with just one birdie, two-putting from 35 feet at the par-5 seventh. His closest scare with bogey came at the par-3 fourth, when his tee shot missed the green to the right. But he navigated a difficult pitch shot to within two feet and saved the par.
Reynolds added birdies at the par-3 11th and par-4 13th – the latter after an approach shot over a bunker from the rough – to get to 7 under. He finished his round by saving par from behind the green at No. 14. Then, with his parents, Gaylen and Connie, and several coaches watching, Reynolds sank a short par putt at No. 15 for the 63.
Hornung said Reynolds’ frequent experience shooting under par in practice and in tournaments paid dividends Friday. The mental and physical components proved to be equally important.
“It definitely takes a long time to get comfortable in that situation,” said Reynolds, who won last year’s McPherson Invitational with a 3-under 67. “Usually, you get under par and go a few holes, then you make a bogey and it blows your candle out. It’s just a learning thing.”