Novosel’s confident, consistent approach allows him to sidestep tough start and stay in contention

Ty Novosel (6)

Quincy's Ty Novosel lines up a putt during Tuesday's first round of the boys 14-15 division of the Pepsi Little People's Golf Championships at Spring Lake Country Club. | Shane Hulsey photo

QUINCY — Ty Novosel didn’t flinch when things went awry.

“Experience plays a big part in confidence,” Novosel said. “I was able to stay confident and hit some good shots.”

That kept the Quincy High School sophomore in contention in the boys 14-15 division of the Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships. Novosel, a two-time Little People’s champion, shot a 5-over 77 and is two shots behind leaders Ryan Murray and Brady Cross following Tuesday’s first round at Spring Lake Country Club.

Novosel’s conservative play helped him avoid disaster even when his game wasn’t 100 percent.

“Not making mistakes is a big part of my game,” said Novosel, who was 5-over after his first three holes. “I struggled with that the first couple holes, then when I got back to my game, I finished strong.”

That damage control was put to the test on the par-4 16th — the toughest hole on the back nine. Novosel shook off a poor second shot that landed in an old divot. He managed to salvage a bogey, then properly managed the final two holes.

“On 17, I hit a good tee shot, just played it safe, hit a solid shot to the middle of the green, and two putted,” Novosel said. “Then the same with 18, played it to the middle of the green and two-putted.”

Having played Spring Lake well over 100 times by his estimation, Novosel knows the course like the back of his hand.

“There are some quirky holes, some tough tee shots,” Novosel said. 

He couldn’t recall a round as blustery as Tuesday’s though.

“Today with that wind, it really played a big part,” Novosel said. “It made it a lot tougher to judge the shots. This is the windiest it has ever been. This is nuts.”

With only four shots of separation between the top 10 on the leaderboard, Novosel can’t wait for the chance to battle it out for his third career Little People’s title.

“It’s going to be fun,” Novosel said. “I know most of the players, so it should be fun to compete with those guys tomorrow.”

Brady Cross follows his tee shot during Tuesday’s first round of the boys 14-15 division of the Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships at Spring Lake Country Club. | Shane Hulsey photo

Cross, a Lindenhurst, Ill., native, held a two-shot lead after 14 holes but made two bogeys over the final four holes. This included a three-putt on No. 17 that dropped him into a tie for the lead.

“That’s like the worst I’ve putted all year,” Cross said.

Despite his putting struggles, Cross shot a 3-over 75 in large part due to his consistency from tee to green.

“My ball striking was almost perfect,” Cross said.

Cross felt confident in his chances to win Wednesday if he can correct his putting woes.

“I’m probably going to spend like two hours on the putting green here and just try to figure this out for tomorrow and maybe get here a little extra early tomorrow and just work on more putting,” Cross said. “Just try to get it together.”

Novosel will tee off at 9:15 am Wednesday with Corban Thomas and Gage Jacobs, and Cross will follow at 9:24 with Murray and Anson Munzlinger.

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