Sophomore Carruthers leading the postseason charge for Panther golf | Sports -

Sophomore Carruthers leading the postseason charge for Panther golf | Sports

Sophomore golfer Jaydon Carruthers has separated himself from the pack this season with multiple top-four finishes for a young Derby golf program with only one senior. As the team winds down the 2022 season, Carruthers is playing at a confident level and ready to make an impact at the state tournament.

The Panthers finished second overall at the league meet on May 10, with Carruthers leading the way, taking fourth overall after shooting a 78 on the day. It has been a season of growth for a Panther squad that has finished inside the top four as a team in five in the regular season meets, including a first-place finish at the Derby Invite on April 25.

“This season has been really good – a huge leap year,” Carruthers said. “Both as a team and individually, we are doing so much better. Last year we were not competitive [at tournaments], and now we are all fighting to make it to state.”

The Panthers made a significant jump as the entire team qualified for state after taking second at the regional with a team score of 321 on May 16. Carruthers shot a 68 to take first at the meet.    

Carruthers said he has seen improvements across his game and has brought his scores down 10 strokes from last season. He has taken his game to new heights and won his first high school competition by two strokes at the Salina South Invite on April 22 and captured the regional title at the Terradyne course in Wichita. 

He has been one of Derby’s most consistent players with multiple top-five finishes and feels happy with where he is at in his second season of high school golf.

“I am close to being able to go out there and competing at every tournament,” Carruthers said. “There are just a couple of holes that I need to clean up, but the growth is amazing, and I am happy where I am at.”

The ability to bounce back after a bad hole is crucial in golf and something that head coach Tim Herrs emphasizes as one of the internal battles that a young player needs to overcome to succeed. For Carruthers, that bounce-back ability is becoming one of his strengths, which has come out of simply maturing as a golfer.

“I think my [greatest strength is my] bounce-back ability,” Carruthers said. “Last year, I would blow out holes, but now I am able to compact it and not let a hole get out of hand. It’s just more about learning the game, knowing what to do, and knowing that you have to sacrifice a bogey.”

Carruthers reached the top 60 with an 89 in his round at the state tournament as a freshman, which was the highest finish among the three Derby golfers to qualify for the tournament. This season, he is aiming to reach the second day of the tournament and make a big leap from his first appearance.

Cody Friesen is the sports editor for the Derby Informer. Contact him with sports tips at [email protected], and follow @Derby_Sports on Twitter for the latest updates. 

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