They keep playing, they keep their scores low and they keep winning tournaments together.
The boys golf team from Glendale High School notched their sixth tournament championship win of the 2016 season by winning the Ozark Conference Championship. Senior Christopher Obert won top honor with a three-under par 69 at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield.
Obert’s final shot was an eight-foot birdie putt on the No. 18 green, set up by a 4-iron and a pitching wedge shot on the curving par 5.
“I was in between really going after the green and laying it back just a touch, and I decided to lay it back just a touch and let my wedge work,” Obert said.
Obert’s teammate and fellow Missouri State golf commit Sam Holes was one-under at 71. Chase Gafner and Alex Locke each shot 76, and Glendale kicked out No. 5-player Graham Sherard’s 78 for a four-player score of 292 to win the tournament over second place Lebanon by 27 strokes.
So far this season, Glendale won the Pearson All-City Championship, the Waynesville Invitational, the Joplin Invitational, the Springfield Invitational and the MSU Relays.
“There is no magic wand, it’s just a bunch of hard work and effort out there,” Falcons coach Chris Obert, father of Christopher Obert said.
Glendale prepares for the high school golf postseason, which starts Monday, May 2. The Falcons are in Class 4 District 5 at Piney Valley Golf Course at Ft. Leonard Wood.
The younger Obert believes Glendale’s experience will pay off on the road to the state tournament, where Glendale placed third last year.
“Sam and I will have played in the postseason four times, this will be our fourth year, and I know we’ve got a lot of experience. Chase and Graham—it’s going to be their third time, and so I think that’s really important for us that we’ve got the experience and the depth to really go out and do our best,” Christopher Obert said.
The now-graduated Baron Weaver won an individual state title for Glendale last year. He has been replaced in the lineup by Locke, who recently fired of a round of 68 at Millwood Golf and Racket Club to win the Pearson All-City Championship.
“I’m thankful to win at Millwood,” Locke said.
Locke played junior varsity golf for Glendale last year, but cut several strokes off his average round in the offseason.
“It’s different playing with these guys, playing at a higher level. I consider myself in with these guys, in the mix,” Locke said. “We’ve got some leadership on the team, veteran leadership and a lot of respect. I take tips from them and they help me.”
Locke has played anywhere from No. 3 to No. 5 on the Falcons’ card, and he’s not the only player to have changed rankings for match play.
“Kids always ask, ‘what spot are you playing this week?’ We fluctuate,” Locke said.
While the lineup can fluctuate, Coach Obert hopes for steady play in the postseason.
“They go out and they play the game, and the more they do that the better they are going to get,” Coach Obert said. “They’re going out there to play the golf course, they’re not going out there to compete against somebody else. That doesn’t lead to success.”
When a lineup appears as strong as Glendale’s did in the conference tournament, it seems any of the five players on the card can have the low score.
While his score didn’t count toward the team standings, Sherard’s round of 78 was good enough for 11th place and honorable mention all-conference status.
“Graham is on his way too. I think Graham is going to have one of those rounds where everything clicks and everything comes together,” Coach Obert said.
While he shot a 69 at Rivercut on Tuesday, Christopher Obert is ready for a week of practice with his teammates as they prepare for the courses and the tension of the playoffs.
“I think it’s what you make it. The atmosphere is what you create. The course is always going to have fairway and it’s always going to have a green,” Christopher Obert said. “I think we’re ready to work hard this week and get ourselves ready to go. We’re just going to keep working hard, that’s about all we can do.”
Ozark Conference Boys Golf Championship 2016
1. Glendale 292
2. Lebanon 319
3. Rolla 325
4. Camdenton 327
5. West Plains 339
6. Kickapoo 342
7. Hillcrest 403
8. Waynesville 419
1. Christopher Obert, Glendale 69
2. Sam Holmes, Glendale 71
3. Seth Crockett, Camdenton 73
T4. Alex Locke, Glendale 76
T4. Chase Gafner, Glendale 76
T4. Cooper Hess, Lebanon 76
T4. Tryn Titus, Lebanon 76
T4. Ben Burris, Rolla 76
T9. Logan Smith, Kickapoo 77
T9. Stewart Meusch, Rolla 77