TMP golf second in Class 3A
By KLINT SPILLER
Prior to the Class 3A state tournament, Thomas More Prep-Marian boys’ golf coach Bryan VonFeldt said the field was wide open this year.
VonFeldt thought his squad had a shot to vie for a state trophy, so when his squad left with one, he said it seemed strange he felt disappointed.
However, that was the case Monday when the Monarchs fell just short of the school’s first state championship.
TMP finished second with a team score of 339 at Spring Creek Golf Course in Seneca. Sabetha won the 3A title with a 336.
Phillipsburg’s Kyle Hoover won the individidual title with a 74. Phillipsburg was fifth as a team with a 348.
“We thought until the last couple scores came in we thought we were going to win,” VonFeldt said. “We were kind of disappointed, but you can’t be upset with second place.”
TMP got a strong performance out of its top player, senior Kade Megaffin, and a surprising performance from one of its fringe scorers, senior Garrett Stoecklein.
Megaffin tied for 12th with an 81, and Stoecklein, who typically shoots in the 90s or high 80s, tied for 19th with an 83.
Both earned all-state honors.
“The round of the year was shot by Garrett Stoecklein,” VonFeldt said. “... That saved us.”
Megaffin could have placed even higher if he would have finished stronger. He shot 38 on the front nine and 43 on the back nine.
“He was fairly disappointed just because he shot 38 on the front, which was two over, playing pretty well,” VonFeldt said. “He just struggled on the back side.”
TMP sophomore Max Megaffin and freshman Hayden Rohr carded scores of 87 and 88 to tie for 34th and 39th, respectively, and rounded out the team score.
Other varsity performers included sophomore Lane Fisher (T-60th, 95) and senior Kade Schmidt (T-94th, 111).
VonFeldt said his team was capable of shooting better scores, which was disappointing, but judging off the other team’s scores there, he said that might have been a common assessment by other coaches.
“Obviously, we think we could have played a little bit better, but probably the two or three teams that were close to us probably thought the exact same thing,” VonFeldt said.
It was VonFeldt’s first state trophy in his six years at the helm of the club. TMP qualified for the previous two tournaments and placed fifth and ninth.
“It’s good to at least have some hardware coming back our direction,” he said.
VonFeldt said Monday’s finish should energize the program for the future and raise the golfers’ expectations.
“We’ll just keep plugging away and give it another run next year,” he said.
However, the Monarchs will be without half their varsity roster as Kade Megaffin, Stoecklein and Schmidt are expected to graduate.
“It is going to be tough (to replace them),” VonFeldt said. “There are going to be a lot of shoes to fill. It’s going to be a summer of practice. We’ll need some guys to step up next year.”