Hamilton’s Carlson earns second state title
Hamilton senior Nick Carlson finished his high school golf career the way he started it.
As a state champion.
Carlson earned his second state title by shooting a 10-under-par 134 during the two-day event that wrapped up on Saturday, June 6, at Michigan State University’s Forest Akers East.
Carlson also won the state crown as a freshman before finishing runner-up the past two years.
Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood’s Dylan Deogun was second at 141, while DeWitt’s Owen Beyer took third at 142. Otsego sophomore Tyler Rayman finished tied for fourth with a 144.
Carlson sat in fifth place after the opening round on Friday, June 5. Still, he was only three strokes behind leader Beyer and only one stroke behind a trio tied for second place.
“Nick really played well on day one,” Hamilton golf coach Kevin Arnold said. “He just burned a lot of edges and the putts just did not fall.”
On the second day, Carlson started on a par-5 and reached the green in two shots. He then hit a routine birdie, which was the first of eight birdies he made in the round.
“I believe that raised his confidence right there,” Arnold said of the early birdie. “He got on a roll quickly and was six under after his first 10 holes (of the day). And he didn’t let up at all. He just kept going and wound up with his 8-under-par round.”
And as a result of his strong performance he now has a second state-championship trophy to put next to the one he captured three years ago.
“As a freshman, we knew he had a chance and he came out the second day and made it happen,” Arnold said. “This year he played well the first day and he felt really confident going to day two. He just had to be patient and allow the putts to fall and they did.
“He was a determined and fired-up young man to end his senior year with bookend titles.”
Arnold knows players like Carlson don’t come around often.
“Nick is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of golf talent,” Arnold said. “I feel very fortunate to have been lucky enough to be his coach. And his lasting legacy, I believe, will be his work ethic. He works many hours a day to push himself to achieve his lofty future goals.”
Among those future goals are joining the golf team at the University of Michigan next season.
“We at Hamilton can’t wait to see what Nick can do as he attends the University of Michigan this fall,” Arnold said. “They’re gaining a tenacious competitor.”
While Carson’s prep career is now over, Rayman is only half way through his high school playing days.
Otsego coach Matt Rayman, who also happens to be Tyler’s father, said a practice round the day before the finals began paid huge dividends.
“We got to go over on Thursday for a practice round and put a game plan together,” Matt Rayman said. “He played very well. He stuck to the plan almost flawlessly. He didn’t have a 3-putt all weekend and just hit a lot of greens and gave himself chances for birdies.
For full story, pick up a copy of the June 11 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.