Osage and Versailles boys golf looking for continued growth after conference quadrangular

Michael Losch
Lake Sun Leader
Osage’s Zach Krantz looks to make a putt in a quadrangular at Osage National Golf Club in Lake Ozark on April 5.

School of the Osage and Versailles did not quite get the results they were looking for on Monday. 

The Indians hosted the Tigers, Blair Oaks and Hallsville for nine holes in a Tri-County Conference quadrangular at Osage National Golf Club where the Falcons of Blair Oaks captured the victory with a team scorecard of 171 while Hallsville’s Logan Cox put up the best round of the day with a total of 39. The hosts finished second with a team score of 181 while Hallsville finished third at 200 and Versailles took fourth a with a 206. 

It may not have exactly been what Osage or Versailles were looking for, but each outing presents an opportunity to grow and improve and that was the general message on Monday as both Lake area programs look to stay hungry. 

“I always say the scorecard doesn’t tell the whole story. We have some inexperience and knew that going in,” Versailles coach Kyle Nolawski said of the day. “None of my kids have actually played this course before and going into it, I think the really encouraging thing was we shot the same thing we shot at California and we didn’t like it. Going into California we shot 206 and we were kind of positive about it and now, it was more of, ‘Well, I could have done this differently or could have done that different.’ 

“It shows they are growing, maturing and getting more competitive.” 

Versailles’ Kyle Bartlett watches his tee shot on a hole at Osage National on April 5 in Lake Ozark.

Versailles was led by Kyle Bartlett who posted a score of 48 after nine holes while Josh Denmon turned in a 41, Joel Faron shot a 53, Joseph Courter finished with a 54 and Zach Wegener finished with a 57. Coming back after losing a whole season due to COVID-19 in 2020, Nolawski noted it is a different feel this year as the team gets used to working together once again instead of on an individual basis. But, he is seeing that instinct and initiative from his golfers which can pay off in the long run.

“You walk in and the first thing Kyle Bartlett said was, ‘ I need to work on putting.’ It was instant,” Nolawski said. “I’ve got Joel Faron and he is concerned about different things here and there he is trying to lock into. 

“Overall, I’m not too upset about this… If we lose, we lose, but we lose in the right way and that is what we did today.” 

Read More:Coming Back From COVID-19: Versailles boys golf used pandemic to grow as a team

And, playing in the Tri-County Conference can drive that competitive edge as well. 

“We play against Blair Oaks, Osage, Eldon, California and all these guys where their programs are where we really want to be,” Nolawski noted. “We are not stepping down and playing the programs that maybe aren’t there yet like we are. When you do that, you can only set yourself up to get better because you see what you want to do.” 

The Tigers were scheduled to visit Cole Camp Tuesday and will return home to Rolling Hills Golf Club to host a tournament on Wednesday at 9 a.m. 

“Keep grinding and keep working hard,” Nolawski said of the message to his golfers. 

Osage came into another home match with some momentum after winning the first two events of the year. Things proved to be a little tougher on Monday. 

The Indians were led by Zach Krantz and Andrew Bryant who both posted scores of 41 each, just two strokes behind the match medalist. Trace Kauffman earned a 49 for Osage, Clayton Elliot finished with a 50 and Kaiden Munsterman turned in scorecard of 55. 

“I think there was a lot of meat left on the bone on our team,” said Osage coach Travis Squire who finally gets the opportunity to lead the boys program after COVID-19 put things on halt for a year. “Krantz can go lower than 41 and has had a couple of rounds he’s been disappointed in back-to-back, but ultimately both of them are 41s and decent and competitive rounds. Andrew keeps impressing me and is very close to par each round. He is a great competitor.” 

The Indians were missing one of their regular starters on Monday in Paven Clark, whom Squire said he has also been impressed with, along with the young freshman Elliott. 

“Clayton has been very solid and consistent and continues to improve. Even if you don’t see it in the numbers, the form of his game, the competitiveness and how he is getting the ball up and down- he is looking good,” Squire said. “Finished with a 50 today, but it is a good 50 on a windy day.”

Monday’s outing may have been the highest scorecard Osage has turned in this season after winning the first two events of the year, but Squire said he knows the team can certainly improve as the team gets ready to face some of these same golfers again on Thursday in the Boonville Masters Tournament. 

“It is nice to see the conference people. Being my first actual year here as boys head coach, I don’t know a lot of these teams so I got a look at Eldon and California last week and we saw three more opponents this week,” the coach noted. 

Perhaps the most important improvement will take place at Payne Stewart Golf Course in Springfield, though, as the Indians recently learned that is where districts will be taking place. 

“That is something we’ll be setting our eyes on, so, we can get up there and play some practice rounds. It is never too early to get some rounds in on the practice course,” Squire stated. “We’ll make a couple trips up there over the next couple of weeks.” 

Michael Losch is the Sports Editor at the Lake Sun. He can be reached at mlosch@lakesunonline.com or 573-346-2132