by Frank Aceto

Associate Sports Editor

They are the postseason and preseason tournament champions.

They finished undefeated in their conference.

They have a 27-match conference winning streak that dates back to 2013.

So when it comes to the links, life seems to be pretty good for the Explorers.

Well, not necessarily.

The Hudson boys golf team won the eight-team National Conference of the Suburban League Postseason Tournament Sept. 29 at J.E. Good Park Golf Course in Akron.

The Explorers won by the slimmest of margins.

Both Hudson and Stow-Munroe Falls finished in a tie for first with a score of 321. North Royalton took third with a 331.

The Explorers won, thanks to a fifth-man tiebreaker. The 85 scores posted by Nolan Laughlin and Connor Linx were better than the Bulldogs' fifth player, who shot an 86.

Although Hudson captured its second straight overall National Conference title and its third conference championship, Explorers' third-year head coach Dave Kurtz was in no mood to celebrate.

"If we play like that again, it's going to be a short postseason," he said. "Nobody could hit the ball straight."

Copley's J.T. Forster won the overall Suburban League title with a 71. Hudson's Will Kurtz was the National Conference champion with a 72.

Also playing for the Explorers were Dave Sexton (81), Ian Tallman (84) and Johnny Merrill (84).

When play was completed, Dave Kurtz didn't feel good about his team's chances.

"I most definitely didn't think we won," he said. "The course wasn't playing that tough. The front nine was a little harder. It was a mess. We had guys hit one or two fairways. You can't do that on that golf course."

Fortunately for the Hudson coach, his team prevailed. And his team also continued a very impressive streak.

The Explorers, who won the now defunct Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division title in 2014, has won 27 straight conference matches dating back to 2013.

That became official when Hudson earned a 158-175 victory over the Bulldogs Sept. 27 at the Country Club of Hudson. As a result of their performance, the Explorers finished 7-0 in the National Conference.

"It's a good accomplishment," Dave Kurtz said. "It's not the big goal with this group of this talent level. They're probably haven't been too many teams that have done what we did and they're probably won't be too many teams that do it in the future."

Sexton led the way with a 37 to earn medalist honors. Kurtz was next with a 39. Rounding out the team scoring for Hudson were Laughlin, Connor Linx and Spencer McClure, who each shot a 41.

The Explorers are scheduled to compete in Division I sectional play Oct. 5 at Windmill Lakes Golf Club in Ravenna. Hudson are set to tee off at 8 a.m.

The Explorers reached the state tournament with a few of the current players in 2014. A performance like the one they had in Akron will most likely not get the Explorers to Columbus this year.

"We won't even get to districts if we play like this again," Dave Kurtz said. "We have not been playing too well.

"It's fundamentals and I think some of it is in their heads. They have to let their brains get out of the way of their golf swings.

"They need to tweak their swings and get their minds right."


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