Tyler Rayman watchs the flight of the ball during his fourth appearance in the Division 2 state finals. (Photo by Gary Shook)

Another top-10 finish for Otsego’s Rayman

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

Father’s Day was still more than a week away when the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2 boys’ golf state finals wrapped up on Saturday, June 10.
That didn’t stop Otsego senior Tyler Rayman from giving his dad an early present.
Rayman shot a two-day total of 148, tying him with Spring Lake’s Nick Krueger for fifth in the individual standings, much to the delight of his father—and Otsego golf coach—Matt Rayman.
“As a dad, it was very exciting to watch him compete at a high level, as it always is,” Matt Rayman said of his son, who recently signed his letter of intent to continue his career at Eastern Michigan University.
That high level of play was the result of a work ethic that was second to none, according to Matt Rayman.
“I know all the five and six hour days of practice and playing Ty has put in, with very few days off,” he said. “He works on all aspects of his game from eating right, to running and working out, to playing and practicing.
“There are very few players that have dedicated as much time to a sport than he has. As a result, I got to enjoy coaching a great Division 1 golfer and got to reap the rewards of watching my son play a game he loves very well.”
Tyler Rayman shot a 72 on the first day of competition at The Meadows on the campus of Grand Valley State University, putting him three strokes behind leader Tony Fuentes of East Lansing.
His score of 76 on day two gave him his total of 148, six strokes off the pace of medalist Zach Rosendale of St. Johns.
Fuentes finished second at 146, followed by a tie for third by Forest Hills Eastern’s Brad Smithson and St. Johns’ Eric Nunn at 147.
“Tyler played great both days,” Matt Rayman said. “Day one he shot 72, but with a few breaks here or there he could have shot 68 easy. Day two was one of the toughest golf days we have ever seen: 88 degrees and winds 30-40 mph. It was a mental grind to try to figure yardages and club selection, but he fought through.”
With his day-one score putting him at even par, Tyler Rayman birdied the first hole on day two to go one under par.
“He had a chance to win starting day two. He was sitting at -1 after that first hole and the winning score ended up being -2. He was in the hunt.”
This marked Tyler Rayman’s fourth appearance in the Division 2 state finals and his third straight top-10 showing. Like this season, he qualified as an individual as a junior and a sophomore after Otsego qualified as a team during his freshman campaign.
Last season, Tyler Rayman shot a 147 at Battle Creek’s Bedford Valley, while shooting a 144 at Michigan State University’s Forest Hills East to tie for fourth as a sophomore.
He finished at 156 on MSU’s Forest Hills West as a freshman.
“Watching Tyler play in the state finals all four years of his high school career has definitely been a highlight for me,” Matt Rayman said. “And he never shot a single round in the 80s at any of those finals.”
Although Tyler Rayman will never golf as a member of the Otsego team again, Matt Rayman will always remember the time he had with his son.
“His prep career was pretty special for me,” Matt Rayman said. “He is the last of a great group of kids that all grew up at (now-closed) Prairiewood playing a ton of golf together. They all cared about the team first and individual success second. That’s why we’ve won six consecutive conference championships and played as a team twice in state finals.
“It was an awesome ride made even better by coaching my son.”
 

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