Eldon’s Wells earns All-State honors as fellow Lake area golfers wrap up seasons amongst Missouri’s best
The tournament each high school golfer works towards and hopes to be a part of took place at courses around the state of Missouri on Monday and Tuesday and five Lake area golfers representing Eldon, Camdenton and Osage set out to test their skills amongst the best golfers Missouri had to offer.
The season came down to two days and 36 holes of golf to decide state champions and All-State recognition and one Lake area golfer in senior Aidan Wells managed to earn the latter in the final event of his high school career.
“It was great to see Aidan end his career with some state hardware,” Eldon coach Matt Frey said. “Aidan is leaving the team in a great place and I feel we are only going to be better and better each year.
Wells and his freshman teammate Teagen Hull were at Crowne Pointe Golf Course in Farmington along with Osage seniors Zach Krantz and Andrew Bryant for the Class 3 Tournament featuring a field of 71 golfers in all.
It was not the first time Wells earned some hardware, being part of a team as a sophomore that earned a fourth place state finish and trophy, the last time a season was enjoyed before the COVID-19 pandemic. To get some hardware this time, a finish in the top 15 was the requirement for any golfer and after the first 18 holes on Monday, Wells was tied for 19th with a scorecard of 83. He managed to bump up a few spots on day two, improving by three strokes to finish tied for 15th at 163 to earn the final spot on the All-State team.
In his first state tournament, Hull was tied for 28th at 85 after day one and also improved by three strokes to finish tied for 24th at 167. The freshman was four strokes shy of an All-State medal.
“I was super pleased with the boys at state. The conditions were less than ideal, but they kept a positive mindset and played hard,” Frey said of his pair of Mustang golfers. “After day one they were both a little down, but after dinner and talking through the day we made a plan for day two. The boys played well enough to earn a state medal and one was just a few strokes away. Teagen showed some real promise with how he handled himself, only being a freshman.”
Osage coach Travis Squire also felt the same way about the conditions, noting that the wind, rain and wet course conditions were a theme of the season. He was pleased with how his golfers finished out, though.
“I was very proud of both boys for the way they battled the elements and the competition each day,” he said.
After day one, Krantz was tied with Wells in the 19th spot with an 83 and finished tied for 26th with a final scorecard of 168 after 36 holes, just five strokes away from All-State honors. Bryant shot an 89 on the first day to tie for 46th and finished his tournament with a 178 to tie for 47th.
A Camdenton golfer also earned his right to compete amongst Missouri’s best and Twin Hills Golf Course in Joplin was the scene for the Class 4 Tournament where Laker sophomore Gunnar Schuster took on a field of 81.
Through the first 18 holes on day one, Schuster was tied for 11th with a round of 76, just five strokes off the lead. He finished tied for 29th after completing his tournament with a final scorecard of 158.
“As Gunnar and I look back now at the state tournament, we are viewing it as a learning experience,” Camdenton coach Jason Horne said. “Gunnar came out doing very well after the first day and found himself in striking distance of first. With a slow start to the second day, it became a little evident that he was not going to make up the strokes he needed to take the title. Gunnar now sees what it will take to accomplish his goals at state and will start preparing in the next couple of weeks for just that.”
It was not quite the result Horne or Schuster were looking for, but the coach is optimistic about the road ahead and referred to a quote by American author Napoleon Hill which states that, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
“We learned a lot about what we need to do to take the next steps to be successful next year. We had a good season and we are looking forward and planning for an outstanding season next year again at the state championships,” Horne said.
Michael Losch is the Sports Editor at the Lake Sun. He can be reached at email@example.com or 573-346-2132