Fingers crossed — 4A state golf scheduled here Tuesday

By Steve Sell
May 24, 2015

Let the waiting game begin.

At this point, the chances of the Class 4A State Golf Tournament being contested on Tuesday at McPherson’s Turkey Creek Course are 50-50 at best.

More punishing rain on Saturday sent the water levels soaring and now it’s just a matter of them going down and the course being deemed playable.

The Turkey Creek grounds crew has been busy trying to keep ahead of the rain with mowing from sun up to sundown and it’s in terrific shape all things considered.

If the more-expected rain doesn’t develop, there’s a chance the 102-player field will tee it up beginning at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. Split tees will be employed with groups going off on Nos. 1 and 10. 

McPherson’s CJ Steiner will go off in the first group of the day on No. 1 at 8:30. MHS’ other contestant is Kaden Warren, who tees off at 9:20 off No. 10. They both qualified as individuals during last week’s regional at Abilene.

This is the fifth state tournament hosted by Turkey Creek, which has become popular in the eyes of the Kansas State High School Activities Association. It’s a quality 18-hole layout and centrally located, not to mention it has all the amenities the state is looking for.

The feature group of the day goes off on No. 1 at 10:30 a.m., as it includes regional winners Eric Pahls of Kansas City Piper, Parker Austin of Rose Hill (son of PGA golfer Woody Austin), Payton Ruder of Hays and Parker Waters of Wamego.

Topeka Hayden ran away with the title last year, blowing out to a 15-stroke win over Buhler. Ottawa was the other plaque winner.

All three of those teams are back in the field this year and each is coming off a regional championship.

Other teams in the field are Wamego, DeSoto, Chanute, Labette County, Hays, Thomas More Prep, Iola, Rose Hill and Wichita Trinity Academy. Twelve teams contend, while 21 teams have qualified one or more individuals, including Paola with three.

There will be a new champion as Bonner Springs’ Marc McClain graduated. He won medalist honors last year with a 69 at Mayetta’s Firekeeper Course.