Mathes and Vandervoort make history for Pratt golf.
This past Wednesday, May 29, a couple of Greenback golfers headed off to Marian Hills in Dodge City to compete in the state tournament. Senior David Mathes and freshman Zach Vandervoort were the two golfers who competed.
This season was the last season for the longtime head coach Steve Landry, but it was one of the most successful years he’s had in a while. Both of the boys medaled at state, a first time Pratt has ever had two boys’ golfers place at the championship. Vandervoort tied for 13th with a score of 81 while Mathes got a score of 83 to tie for 18th.
However, the road to state took longer than expected. It had to be pushed back a couple of times due to weather and was eventually moved from Winfield to Dodge City after the golfers had already completed a few rounds. Mathes took it as a welcome fresh start as everyone struggled through the tough conditions in Winfield.
Mathes went into this season with the goal to qualify for state, and not only did he qualify, he also placed with one of his best scores of the season.
“I saved my best for last and will never have to live with the ‘what ifs’. With the wind being the way it is in that area, 83 was a pretty good score to end the season,” said Mathes.
It wasn’t just pure luck that put him in the state tournament, Mathes had practiced throughout the summer and fall to perfect his game during the offseason.
“He is a great example to the younger players of what it takes to get to the level that is necessary to get to the state tournament. The team will really miss David’s leadership next year,” said head coach, Steve Landry.
As Mathes’ PHS golf career came to a close, Vandervoort’s is just beginning. Although, this may have been Vandervoort’s first year as a Greenback golfer, he has been playing for much longer than that. He started playing tournament golf when he was only eight years-old and has finished high in some prestigious tournaments at the junior level.
All that practice helped him to succeed this year. He finished 1st or 2nd in six out of the eight tournaments he competed in this year. He even won regionals which was the first time someone from Pratt has done that in 19 years.
Unfortunately, Vandervoort did not have his best day at state. He started off strong with a birdie on the first hole, but his driver started to stray a bit as the day went on. He was able to finish strong and par five out of his last six holes and still placed 13th despite one of his worst tournaments of the season.
“I feel I should state how proud I am of Zach Vandervoort. He is such a phenomenal talent to keep an eye on and sky is the limit for him,” said Mathes of his teammate.
Coach Landry also has high praise for the freshman.
“With his summer tournament schedule and his work ethic, I’m sure Zach will be vying for a state title within the next three years,” said Landry.
Although it was Mathes’ last year, he is looking forward to how the team next year will be able to build of the momentum from this year.
“There could be a league championship for the team next year if the guys can get out and work on their game this offseason and if next year’s coach, Mr. Caleb Hendricks, can take advantage of what he’s got and help them refine their talents,” said Mathes’.