Area golfers to watch at state tournaments

The two day state golf tournaments fire up bright and early Monday morning.  Below are a list of the top golfers from Southwest Missouri.

MSHSAA State Golf Tournament Central (locations, tee times, scores)

Class 1
Presten Richardson, Miller – Richardson is only a sophomore and already has an all-state distinction under his belt.  Despite taking on the game of golf just 6 years ago he is already among the best in the area with his 72 scoring average.  Also a football and basketball star, Richardson owns wins at districts, Marshfield, SRVC, Fremont Hills and Pierce City this season.

Adam Cunnyngham, Galena – The Bears’ senior owns just about every distinction a player can have.  He’s the four-time SWCL Golfer of the Year, four-time all-district, and is seeking his fourth all-state honor this week.  He owns wins at the MSU Relays and most recently at sectionals.  His mental toughness and steady game make him a championship contender.  Cunnyingham will play golf at NCAA-II Newberry College in South Carolina next year.

Jacob Kassing, Greenwood – The Bluejays senior is back and better than ever, leading his team to a fifth straight district championship.  Kassing was a big reason Greenwood tied for the Class 1 team title last year, which they ultimately lost on a MSHAA tie breaker.  He’s headed to NCAA-II Missouri S&T this fall and plans to tryout for the golf team.

John Sharp, Greenwood – Sharp is the other key returner for the Bluejays this spring.  The junior consistently scores in the high 80s, contributing to the team’s fifth straight district championship.  He also runs track in the spring, qualifying for the sectional meet in the 100m, 200m and long jump.

Bo Kroenke, Lincoln – The latest in the line of talented Kroenke’s, Bo, also a football and basketball star, is knocking on the door of all-state.  He missed it by one stroke last year.  This spring he finished 2nd at districts then followed it up with a win at sectionals.

Class 2
Taylor Stone, Strafford – Stone is the model of consistency, winning districts and sectionals with matching 80s at Holliday Hills in Branson and Rolling Hills in Versailles.  The junior opened the season with a 78 at Marshfield.

Class 3
Clayton Kaiser, Monett – The Monett junior hasn’t finished outside of the top 5 all season.  He’s won at least one tournament every year of high school and is making his third trip to state in as many years.  Old Kinderhook is a tight, challenging course, but Kaiser can make some putts and keep it in the fairway he has a shot at winning it all.

Jackson VonBehren, Logan-Rogersville – VonBehren experienced the ultimate in team success last year as the Wildcats stormed back on day 2 to win the Class 3 title.  This season he’s been as dominant as any individual in the area, winning at districts, MSU Relays, Bolivar, Willard, Marshfield and COC Small.  His even keel game and ability to stay cool under pressure makes him a state title contender and a sure-fire future college golfer.

Nick Palmer, Catholic – Palmer is a senior now and the Irish leader.  His 4-over par 18 hole average is among the best in the area with win at districts followed by a fifth place finish at sectionals.

Lance Brackett, Hillcrest – Brackett is heating up at the right time.  The Hillcrest junior finished outside of the top 10 just once in the last six tournaments and owns top 5s at the city championship, Ozark Tournament, districts and sectionals.  After making his state debut last spring Brackett is thinking all-state at Old Kindherook this week.

Tyler Markham, Carl Junction – The Bulldogs senior was all-conference and all-district this season with a win at the Twin Hills Invitational.  His 77.8 scoring average is very good, but even more impressive when you consider he’s only been playing golf for three years, including qualifying for state last season.

Class 4
Dawson Meek, Glendale – Just a sophomore but already one of the top golfers in the area, Meek is looking to build on his 30th place finish at state last year.  He fired a 72 to win sectionals and was second at districts, just weeks after winning the highly competitive Carthage Invitational.  Last year’s experience at state, where the Falcons finished 2nd as a team, has done a lot for his game this year, knocking off three strokes off his scoring average.

Lucas Ogden, Glendale – The latest in the long line of Glendale golf phenoms, Ogden has heated up of late, sharing the district medalist honors with a 77 followed by a second place finish at sectionals.  He also won the city championship.  Despite his youth, Ogden is a leader on this team that has a shot to win its second Class 4 title in three years.

Conner Obert, Glendale – Last but certainly not least, the sophomore is back at state after playing a key role on last year’s Class 4 runner-up team.  He’s finished 2nd a few times, including the city championship and districts.  Those experiences have proven valuable as he looks to step atop the podium in Kansas City this week.

Greg Mitchals, Willard – Just a sophomore, Mitchals is back at state and playing his best golf of late.  He’s been top top 4 in four of the Tigers’ seven tournaments this spring.  Most recently he won the COC Large Tournament by four strokes and districts by one stroke at his home course Greene Hills.  Mitchals isn’t flashy, but he’s got the game to earn all-state this week in Kansas City.

Kelby Day, Ozark – Day has made a big jump from his sophomore to junior season, shaving off nearly 10 strokes off his scoring average.  This is first varsity campaign, but his hard work has paid off with top ten finishes at Willard, COC Large and Millwood.

Matthew Drallmeier, Rolla – Drallmeier enters the Class 4 tournament on a roll with top 5 finishes at districts (3rd place) and sectionals (4th place).

Cooper Hess, Lebanon – Hess is a state championship contender and has the ability to shoot under par any given tournament.  Just a sophomore, Hess has four wins this season, including districts.  He’ll look to improve on last year’s 30th place finish at state.

Tryn Titus, Lebanon – If Hess doesn’t win, there’s a good chance Titus will.  He has three wins this season and has consistently finished in the top 5 every time out.  In a practice round over the weekend Titus fired an ace on a 375 yard par 4 at Swope Memorial in Kansas City.  Not a bad omen heading into the state tournament.

Hayden Brogdon, Lebanon – Brogdon is yet another strong player for the Yellowjackets and give them a shot at three all-state golfers.  Brogdon has only been outside of the top 15 twice this season.

Logan Smith, Kickapoo – Smith has just about done it all.  In his four years at Kickapoo he’s earned 1st team all-district four times, qualifying for state each year, including all-state as a sophomore.  He also won the Carthage Tournament this spring.  Smith is headed to Evangel next year to continue his golf career, but has his eyes on one more trip to the podium this week in KC.