By Don Eskins (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Springfield Catholic posted a 327 to claim this year’s Ozark Invitational Golf Tournament. It was the third victory of the season for the Fightin Irish who finished nine strokes ahead of runner-up Willard High which registered a 336. The tournament was held at the Fremont Hills Country Club in Nixa.
Ninety-nine golfers representing 20 teams made their way to Fremont Hills in hopes of claiming this year’s team title and despite the appearance of a cold front that moved through the area Ozark head coach, and tournament director, Justin Peery said things went very well.
“After such a nice start on a beautiful day it did get a little breezy. But as far as spring weather goes this was about as good as we could expect,” said Peery. “Overall though the scoring was impressive with plenty of scores in the 70’s so I’d say most kids had a pretty good day.”
Two of those impressive scores came via Catholic’s Walker Tynes, who carded a 75, and Walker Serrano who registered an 80. Tyne’s and Serrano’s scores were instrumental in leading the Irish to the win.
“We like to play in the 320’s and our kids did it again today,” said Catholic head coach Don East. “Our No. 1 player Walker Tynes played very well as did our No. 2 man Walker Serrano. Our No. 3 man struggled a little bit today but our No. 5 player, Calvin Sanders who shot an 88, really helped us out. That’s why everybody’s score is important, you never know when someone might need some help. I’m so very proud of these kids though, they play hard all the time.”
Willard head coach Matt Stone was also more than happy with his linksters.
“I’m really pleased with the way our kids played today,” said Willard head coach Matt Stone. “Greg Mitchals who has played well for us all year had another solid round for us today, Branden White kept his game together despite a couple of difficult holes and our number four man, Logan Wooldridge, had his best round of the year. Our success today can best be summed up as just a great overall team effort.”
“This was definitely our best finish of the year,” said Willard’s No. 1 player Mitchals. “Our finish today has encouraged us all. We’re all hopeful now that we can carry today’s success on into conference play.”
Tynes, Mitchals and Kickapoo’s John Snider all posted 75’s to share the tournament’s top medalist honors. For Snider, playing out of the Chief fourth spot, the day couldn’t have gone better.
“I played the best darn golf I’ve ever played in my life,” said Snider. “I hit 16 of 18 fairways, kept the ball in play all day and had no double bogeys. I carded pars and bogeys all day and had a birdie on the backside. So this has really been a great day of golf for me.”
“I putted poorly today but I did strike the ball well and that helped to keep my score in the 70’s. With the conditions as they were I think I played pretty well,” said Tynes. “Next week we’ll compete in the All-City Tournament at Rivercut. I usually play well there so I’m looking forward to it.”
Following are scorecards posted by the tournament’s top two teams:
Springfield Catholic: 1. Walker Tynes- 75; 2. Walker Serrano- 80; 3. Dane Puckett- 90; 4. Joe Muenks- 84 and 5. Calvin Sanders- 88.
Willard High: 1. Greg Mitchals- 75; 2. Branden White- 81; 3. Nathan MacLaughlin- 87; 4. Logan Wooldridge- 93 and 5. Sam Shackelford- 96.
1. Springfield Catholic- 327
2. Willard- 336
3. Joplin- 338
4. Republic- 340
5. Kickapoo- 347
6. Carthage- 353
7. Ozark- 355
8. Nixa- 356
9. Webb City- 360
10. Carl Junction- 364
1. John Snider 75- Kickapoo
1. Walker Tynes 75- Catholic
1. Greg Mitchals 75- Willard
4. Robbie Sager 76- Carthage
5. Clayton Kaiser 77- Monett
6. Presten Richardson 79- Miller
7. Walker Serrano 80- Catholic
8. Kolby Hosp 81- Republic
8. Branden White 81- Willard
8. Kelby Day 81- Ozark
11. Alex Ramirez 82- Joplin