Lincoln Southwest junior Geran Sander knows how to win a golf tournament. He did it last year as the Silver Hawks’ No. 5 player.
That is why his coach, Jim Danson, had such high hopes for Sander before the Nebraska School Activities Association canceled the spring season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“He had a really fabulous sophomore year,” Danson said. “And this year (in practice), he really improved in all facets of his game. He got stronger both physically and mentally.
“He is playing right now the best I have seen him play.”
Sander is a big hitter, with 300-yard drives being the norm. Danson said Sander’s 6-3 frame has a lot to do with it. Those long drives helped him win the Southwest Invitational last year with a 71 at Wilderness Ridge. Danson said it helps that Sander has the ability to reach a lot of par-5s in two strokes.
“His long game is absolutely dynamite,” Danson said. “Especially with his long irons.”
Sander, the Nebraska Junior Golf Tour Player of the Year for 2019, tied for 27th at state last year. He was part of a Southwest team that finished second in Class A behind Creighton Prep. His scoring average was right around 80, a number he hoped to drop to the mid-70s.
Even without a season, “nothing’s changed,” Danson said. “He’s a great kid.”
Sander was in the starting lineup with four seniors last year, led by standout Josh Bartels.
“Geran improved a lot when I played with him last season,” said Bartels, now playing college golf at Omaha, “mainly because of how strong his work ethic was.”
Sander and two other juniors – Connor Podliska and Justin Webert – were expected to lead the way for the Silver Hawks this spring.
Danson said he sent a message to those three players. They have another season left, unlike the seniors on this year’s team.
“I said, ‘Remember, you guys are the fortunate ones. You have another chance, another opportunity. So make the most out of that.’”
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