Osage and Eldon send golfers back to state and Camdenton's Lembke ends season at sectionals

Osage and Eldon send golfers back to state

School of the Osage and Eldon are back in the final show of the year.

The Mustangs and Indians teed off in the Class 1 Sectional 2 Tournament at Payne Stewart Golf Course in Springfield on Monday and a trio of Lake area golfers made the cut for state as Eldon's Kassidy Hull and Hannah Petet qualified along with Osage's Sydney Riley. 

A week after defending the home links for a second straight district championship at Eldon Golf Club last Monday, the Mustangs had the privilege of competing as a team in sectionals where they finished fourth among five teams with a score of 429. Springfield Catholic bested the field with a 297 followed by Logan-Rogersville (380) and Sacred Heart (417). 

"I thought the girls played well as a team at sectionals. I was glad to see where the girls finished that had not competed at that high of level golf tournament," Eldon coach Matt Frey said. "The future looks bright for the team since I will return all players next year."

Hull, a returning state medalist who also added a second straight individual district title to the resume this season, led the Mustangs with a 10-over-par round of 81 that earned a sixth place finish while Petet also finished in the top 10 with a 96 to capture 10th. Reece Henderson shot a 117 to to tie for 39th in the field of 50 golfers, Kelsey Fischer carded a 135 to capture 47th and Harlee Lawless turned in a 171 to earn 50th.

"Kassidy and Gracie played great," said Frey who explained to his club that the tournament was just a stepping stone to state. "We were able to move two on and I am super happy with that. Grace was able to put together her career low round and at the perfect time." 

Riley will be representing Osage among some of the best golfers in the state for a second straight year after placing 20th with a round of 105. It was a close finish for the junior, but she was able to make the cut by a single stroke.

"She played fantastic in the practice round but for some reason did not have her best stuff yesterday," Osage coach L.J. Weeks noted "She knew after her first nine holes that she was going to have to play well on the back nine to have a chance. She played the back seven strokes better, which was enough to get through. This is her second straight year going to state, which is fantastic. She really puts in a lot of hard work and practices year round, which is what it takes to play at that level."

There were two other Indians in action on Monday as Ella DeMott played her first sectional tournament and Maddie Yoder was back in sectionals for a second straight year. Yoder carded a 114 to tie for 34th and and DeMott finished 49th with a 145 in the final outing for the duo.

"This was a huge accomplishment for her," Weeks said of DeMott. "At the start of the season she and I talked about the need to decide before districts if she would be ready to play at that level and then she goes and makes it to sectionals. Yesterday was not her best day, but she got sick the night before so she was a little under the weather."

Yoder concluded her Osage golf career and Weeks said it was not a bad ride for someone who had never played the game prior to her freshman year.

"This year she made it back to sectionals which is an amazing accomplishment. She played well yesterday," the coach noted. "She was happy with how she did and I'm going to miss being her coach. She is going to make the world a better place someday." 

Now, the Indians and Mustangs will prepare for the state course at Fremont Hills in Nixa and try to tango with some of the best in a two-day tournament. 

"We have some experience there as sectionals was played there last year. It is a great course that requires shot-making abilities as it is kind of tight," Weeks said. "It should be fun and challenging for Sydney." 

There is a feeling of familiarity for Eldon as well. 

"I look forward to the week's practice as we get ready for state. Both girls played at the course last year at sectionals so it won't be super unfamiliar to them," Frey said. "The course is tight with tree-lined fairways so it will be similar to our home course." 

Camdenton's Lembke ends season at sectionals

Camdenton's Korrin Lembke put the Lakers back on the map.

She took her swings in the Class 2 Sectional 3 Tournament at Hoots Hollow Country Creek Golf Club in Pleasant Hill on Monday and was the first Laker at a sectional tournament in two years. Lembke was among a field of 50 and shot a 117 to finish 50th in the field. 

It may not have been the ending the senior wanted, but reaching sectionals and being one step away from the state tournament is not a bad alternative.

"We were blessed to be there and what a great accomplishment for someone who has only been golfing for two years to achieve," Camdenton coach Jo Beth Nicklas said. "Hoots Hollow was a difficult links-style course, which is unlike any of the other courses we play. There were several holes on the back where players were required to carry their shots over water in order to complete the hole and this provided a challenge."

Nicklas said the senior had a strong front nine holes, but the water may have played a role in the back nine. Still, the coach was proud of Lembke's finish to her Camdenton career.

"After she passed all of the water she came back on hole 18 and had a par, which allowed her to finish her high school golf career on a great note," Nicklas stated. "I am so proud of how much she accomplished in such a short time."