Glendale golf dominates way to state

Just as they have all season the Glendale boys steamrolled their way to a Class 4 Section 3 title Monday afternoon at Rivercut Golf Course.  The Falcons fired a 293 to beat defending state champ Columbia Rock Bridge by 22 strokes.

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Despite their domination, the Falcons remain extremely focused and level-headed.

“They’ve played well this year, but you still have to come out and play the game,” said head coach Chris Obert.  “We don’t ever look past the moment we’re in.  That’s one of the things we talk about as a team.”

Junior Alex Locke earned medalist honors with a 2-under 70.  He was followed closely by senior teammate Christopher Obert (2nd, 73) and junior Chase Gafner (3rd, 74).  Senior Sam Holmes shot a 76 to complete the team scoring for the Falcons.  Senior Graham Sherard fired a 79 to finish in the top 12.

Locke is technically the Falcons’ number four golfer which shows how incredibly deep and balanced they are as a team. 

“I didn’t get to go (to state) last year, so it feels great,” said Locke, who didn’t take up golf competitively until his freshman year.  “It’s a lot of hard work coming together.  We’re humble and we like to stay that way, but it does feel great.”

Locke recalls shooting a 106 in his first attempt at playing golf competitively.  He’s come a long way since those days just under three years ago.

“It lit a fire, so I started practicing and practicing.  I’ve come a long way.  I’m very blessed.”

Impending rain forced the tournament to be altered with a shotgun start on the back nine in the morning.  Once the rain passed through they concluded play with a shotgun start on the front nine.

The conditions and odd format didn’t seem to effect Locke, who shot a 3-under on the first nine and despite a pair of bogeys to close his round, a 1-under on the second nine.

Locke has finished in the top eight of every tournament this year, including medalist honors at the Pearson at Milwood. 

Obert and Holmes are the Falcons’ top two golfers, but you never know who will come out and win any given day.  Obert credits that to his team’s competitive nature away from tournaments.

“Between them when they go out and play each day there’s something on the line; bragging rights,” said Obert.  “Our practice round isn’t just hitting a golf ball around.  They play the game, that’s the way we practice.”

The team has a unique way of adding motivation to their practices.

“We gamble a little bit,” said Locke.  “They have some pretty good chips and queso at Milwood, so we’ll play for chips and queso.  Sometimes we’ll play for a Gatorade.  We don’t play for big money.  It’s just fun to compete.”

The next competition is by far the biggest.  The Class 4 state tournament is next Monday and Tuesday (May 16-17) at Silo Ridge in Bolivar, where the Falcons will shoot for a state title, something they don’t talk about.

“It doesn’t come up,” said Obert.  “We’ll see what happens next week.  If they do what they can do every single shot, there might be another team that does that better than they do and that’s okay.”

 
Other local state qualifiers
Jackson Tetreault, Waynesville (75)
Elijah Rehrer, Carthage (78)
Braden Demark, Camdenton (78)
Michael Hake, Camdenton (79)
Jack Ehrhardt, Lebanon (79)
Seth Kovak, Nixa (81)
Lucas Turnbull, Nixa (82)
Reed Johnson, Nixa (82)
Logan Smith, Kickapoo (82)