Everest's Mitch Lowney ‘plays smart’ to win Division 4 individual golf title

Everest Collegiate High School senior Mitch Lowney won the Division 4 individual state title with a 73-74 147 at The Meadows golf course last weekend at Grand Valley State University. (Courtesy photo)

ALLENDALE — On the eve of the Division 4 state boys golf championship at The Meadows course at Grand Valley State University last Friday and Saturday, Mitch Lowney formulated a strategy on how best to negotiate the 6,336 yards.

“I decided to play it smart,” the Clarkston Everest Collegiate senior said.

After a practice round on Thursday and noticing what he called “a bunch of trouble off the fairways,” Lowney opted to ignore his driver.

“I used it only twice in both rounds,” he said. “I used the 3-iron and 4-iron off the tee. I’m pretty good with my short game, and I putt well, too. I didn’t have a three-putt both days.”

Lowney, who will take his links talent to Trine University in the fall, was the lone bright spot among CHSL golfers competing in the finals. He won the Division 4 individual title shooting a three-over par 73-74 147.

This was Lowney’s fourth appearance in the state finals. He was a member of Everest’s 2016 and 2017 champs and the 2018 runner-up. This year the team finished fourth, 28 strokes behind winner Kalamazoo Hackett.

On an individual basis, he was second-best as a sophomore and fifth last year.

“A goal of mine was to win the individual state title, and I knew I could do it,” Lowney said.

“It was pretty intense out there at the end.”

Making it even more special was his pairing in Friday’s round with Austin Fauser of Clinton. Lowney finished second five strokes behind Fauser as a sophomore but turned the tables this year with a one-stroke victory.

“We’ve become very good friends,” Lowney said. “I first met him in the eighth grade, and we saw each other at different tournaments. I’ve played a lot of golf with him.”

Both shot 73 on Friday. On Saturday, “at the 13th hole, my coach (Dave Smith) told me that I’d probably have to have a birdie or two to win.”

Lowney parred the last eight holes for a two-over 74, one stroke better than Fauser’s score.

“I was surprised. Shocked,” said Lowney. “I thought I had lost.”

He’ll be majoring in golf management with the notion of teaching and turning pro. “The dream is to play professionally,” he said.

Here’s how other CHSL golfers fared:

In Division 1: 4th, Novi Detroit Catholic Central (-17); 7th, Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (-22); 9th, Warren De La Salle (-42). Individual Top 10: 9th, Rice’s Johnny Melstrom 73-77 150; 10th, CC’s Carter Cojei 78-73 151.

In Division 2: 13th, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood (-60); 15th, Orchard Lake St Mary's (-65).  

In Division 3: 8th, Ann Arbor Fr. Gabriel Richard (-56).

In Division 4: 2nd, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett (-11); 4th Clarkston Everest Collegiate (-28); 18th, Allen Park Cabrini (-193). Individual Top 10: 1st, Mitch Lowney, Everest 73-74 147; 8th, Colin Degnore, University Liggett 82-76 158.