By Tyler Thompson (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
SPRINGFIELD — For many spring athletes throughout the Ozarks, Mother Nature hardly obliges.
However — on Monday — the elements were far from traditional as a constant blue sky and a temperature in the low 80s made for favorable conditions for Glendale’s Dawson Meek and company, as the Falcons soared to the Ozark Conference championship at Rivercut Municipal Golf Course.
Meek finished the tournament with a 1-under 71 to claim first place, and he said the greens and fairways played to his liking — which have him added confidence throughout the round.
“They actually just punched them, probably, two or three weeks ago,” Meek said of the greens. “They are starting to get … they’re flat and rolling pretty good.”
As for the fairways, Meek said they continually set up for solid lies.
Added Meek: “They play really nice because you don’t get many bad lies in the fairways. On some municipal courses, you can get some pretty bad lies. It’s not fun.”
While taking top honors at the conference championship is nice, this season the Falcons have experienced the traditional ups and downs the game of golf imposes on even the strongest suitors.
“We have had our struggles along the way. Our scores are a little bit higher than they should be right now,” Glendale head coach Chris Obert said. “Hopefully, we can get those things turned around before we head to districts next week. We need to knock off, probably, 15 strokes just to get out of districts.”
Glendale is in a tight, highly-competitive district, as they compete in Class 4 District 5 — with the likes of Jefferson City, Smith-Cotton, and Rock Bridge.
“Head-to-head, we just played against them [Jefferson City, Camdenton, and Rock Bridge at the Camdenton] tournament. We didn’t play very well at all. It kind of showed where we were at the time,” Obert said.
At the tournament, the Falcons placed sixth out of “a really, really strong field,” added Obert. “It was a state-strength tournament. A lot of the best teams from the state. That is the reason we wanted to go there, to play that kind of competition.”
The district tournament takes place at New Bloomfield this season.
Playing the highly-touted field at Camdenton — compounded with a first-place finish at Monday’s conference tournament — Obert said those experiences give a leg up on preparation for postseason play.
The Falcons’ familiarity with Rivercut certainly played a vital role, as the Falcons just played a round on the manicured greens just one week ago.
“We played here on Thursday for another tournament, and I played well, so I was just hoping to come out here and play my normal game and just get through the round,” Meek said. “Usually it is slow, but today it was pretty fast. It was nice.”
The relationships formed off the course have yielded added results this season.
“We’ll get together for dinner sometimes,” Meek said. “We enjoy each other’s company.”
Meek and teammate Conner Obert log hour after hour at Millwood, which has helped the duo sustain their success this spring.
Obert tied for fourth Monday with his 78.
Both were named All-Conference.
For Meek, ratcheting up his irons game has brought about added confidence this season — no matter the venue.
Added Meek: “Right now, it’s my irons, which is completely different from last year. My irons were pretty good today and last Thursday.”
1. Dawson Meek (Glendale) — 71 (All-Conference)
2. Cooper Hess (Lebanon ) — 72 (All-Conference)
3. Tryn Titus (Lebanon) — 75 (All-Conference)
4. Jerian Jordan (Rolla) — 78 (All-Conference)
4. Conner Obert (Glendale) — 78 (All-Conference)
1. Glendale — 320
2. Rolla — 325
3. Lebanon — 338
4. West Plains — 347
5. Kickapoo — 352
6. Camdenton — 372
7. Waynesville — 418
8. Parkview — 421
9. Central — 468
* Hillcrest (One player, Kevin Heard, shot a 135)