THS golfers perform well at state
Tonganoxie High golfers Drew Sandburg, Aaron Williams and Tyler Hall got the opportunity to represent their team one more time Monday at the Class 4A state tournament. None were strangers to a state tournament atmosphere, and they all lived up to their roles as seasoned veterans.
The Chieftain trio wrapped up the season with scores of 74, 77 and 79, respectively, at Cherry Oaks Golf Course in Cheney. Sandburg’s 74 was good enough for seventh place individually, Williams’ 77 tied him for 17th. Hall just missed a top-20 finish, but shot less than 80 for the first time this season.
“I think experience was a big part of it,” coach Jared Jackson said. “We have a routine in how we prepare for state. We had a good week of preparation.”
The state appearance was the fourth for Williams and the third for Sandburg and Hall.
Sandburg, a junior and the team’s No. 1 golfer all year, was the final Chieftain to tee off at Monday’s tournament. He started on tee No. 1 and shot a 38 on the front nine. He shaved off two strokes on the back nine to finish in a five-way tie for fifth place, then took third among that group in a playoff.
His only lower score this season came on May 7 at the Junction City Invitational (72).
“The course was really long, but the greens moved really smooth,” Sandburg said of the course, which the Chieftains also played on April 19 at the Wichita Collegiate Invitational.
Williams, a senior, also started on the first green and finished under 80 for the fourth time in his final season. Hall, also a senior, teed off on hole No. 10 and shot his best score since carding a 78 at last year’s Kaw Valley League meet.
“I didn’t really know how they were doing, but when I heard they both went under 80, I was pumped for all of us,” Sandburg said.
Iola’s Kaden Macha, Collegiate’s Camron Chugg and Piper’s Montana Fasching tied for first individually with scores of 72. Macha won the individual title in a playoff. Collegiate won the team title on its home course with a 299. Piper, last year’s state champion, finished second with a 305.
The state tournament marked the end of the road for Williams and Hall, who have helped THS evolve into one of the state’s premier programs. Meanwhile, Sandburg will return next season as the Chieftains’ most experienced golfer.
“(The seniors) have done everything in the program,” Jackson said. “They’re part of the success, and it’s neat that they were able to end this way. (Sandburg’s) game has always been there, but what he’s done is kind of matured into this spot. Now it’s gig to be a summer of shoring up the little things. He has to be excited coming off this.”