Returning All-State golfer bests field of 98 in season opener

Eldon’s Kassidy Hull was ready to go.

The returning All-State Mustang golfer, who became the first female to accomplish the feat in school history a season ago, showed no signs of rust in the season-opening Laker Invitational at Lake Valley where Camdenton was also hosting School of the Osage and 16 other schools. Hull bested the field with a round of 74 after 18 holes, finishing four strokes better than any of the other 98 players in the field.

“Kassidy played great all day and kept her composure even though it was a 7 -hour round of golf,” Eldon coach Matt Frey said of the golfer that finished seventh in the Class 1 state tournament in 2018. “That can be hard if you’re not used to playing a slow round. It is hard to get anything going and when you do its hard to keep rolling when it is slow.”

No problem for Hull, though.

Eldon finished ninth as a team with a total score of 428 while Rock Bridge claimed top honors at 320 respectively. The four best scores for each team were counted towards the final result and the Mustangs got a round of 116 from both Gracie Pedit and Reece Henderson while Harley Lawless carded a 122 and Kelsey Fischer finished at 135.

“I was super pleased with how the girls played. Finishing ninth out of 20 teams I felt was good for us,” Frey noted. “There were a lot of big schools and good teams there.”

A day after opening the season with a 9-hole home win over Lebanon where the Indians topped the Yellowjackets 224 to 227, Osage placed 13th in the final team standings with a score of 442. The Indians were led by returning state qualifier Sydney Riley who shot a 103 while Ella Demott turned in a 109, Maddie Yoder put up a 114, Kaylie Clark carded a 116 and Greta Cooks finished with a 117.

“There are several schools in that tournament with several very good players. For our first 18-hole tournament of the season, I was very happy with how Osage did,” Osage coach L.J. Weeks stated. “I have some new girls who haven't played a lot of golf up until this past summer so this is all a new experience for them. Some of my veteran players didn't play quite as well as they wanted, but I suppose any golfer can say that on most days. I think we are right where we need to be at this point in the season.”

As for the hosts, Camdenton captured 17th in the team standings with a score of 469. Allie Crowell paced the Lakers with a 109 while both Korrin Lembke and Ainsley Lowther shot a 113, Gracie Poe put up a 134 and Emma Price finished at 135.

“The tournament went very well and our girls were troopers. Traditionally, our girls do not play their best at home,” Camdenton coach Jo Beth Nicklas said. “Part of the reason is the fact that Lake Valley is one of the more challenging courses we play in our conference all year. However, many of our home playing issues have to do with course management and our mental game, each of which we have been working hard on correcting in our practices this year. I think these ladies are an up and coming team to watch this season.”

For the first event of the year, Nicklas was also pleased with the junior varsity.

“Our junior varsity girls made a great showing this first time out and we will be expecting more from them as the season continues.”

Camdenton and Eldon return to acton on Wednesday at the Helias Tournament while Osage will get ready for the Boonville Tournament on September 13.