Michigan high school golf teams finish last after stroke-shaving investigation

June 11, 2018

Two Michigan high school golf teams turned in suspiciously low scores in qualifying for the Div. 1 state tournament. Then, on the first day of states, each teams shot more than 100 strokes worse, raising eyebrows across the competition.

New Baltimore Anchor Bay (284) and Harrison Township L’Anse Cruese (296) each set school records at the regional tournament less than two weeks before states. The schools were grouped together in the regional event, and according to the Detroit Free Press, the scores they recorded were more than 45 strokes better than their 18-hole tournament averages and the lowest among any schools in the state. Fraser, the third team in the group at regionals, also recorded a lower score than its average but didn’t advance to states.

At the state event, things were dramatically different. Anchor Bay opened with a 385, while L’Anse Cruese posted a 401. Their scores improved on the second day (353 and 376) but the schools still finished in the bottom two spots in the tournament, more than 30 strokes behind the nearest competitor.

After the regional event, opposing coaches and a rules official flagged the low scores, but the Michigan High School Athletic Association couldn’t find enough proof of stroke-shaving to void those scores. The MHSAA also declined waivers from Rochester Adams and Bloomfield, who finished 3rd and 4th at regionals.

Bloomfield coach Scott Hayes said his players were put off by the result. “All I know is I have five kids sitting at home asking, ‘Coach, why can’t we play?’ and I don’t have an answer for them,” he told the Free Press.

Grosse Point South won the Div. 1 title, shooting 299-299-598.