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Megaffins lead Monarchs into 3A regional

By KLINT SPILLER

Son of Karla Spiller

Ever since his younger brother joined the Thomas More Prep-Marian boys' golf team in 2012, senior Kade Megaffin said his mentality has changed.

It's not so much that he feels like he needs to nurture his brother or has to serve as a tutor or protector.

Megaffin said he knew he had to try harder because he couldn't stand the idea of losing to Max, now a sophomore.

You see, there's a bit of a sibling rivalry in the Megaffin household between Kade and Max.

"We get mad at each other a lot," Kade said. "We are fighting all the time."

And even when they are on the golf course competing on the same team, that rivalry doesn't end.

Max recalled a practice round with his elder brother this summer. Max knocked in a putt for the win on the 18th green, and Kade grabbed the ball and chucked it into the water.

"I was very much irritated," Max said. "I made him buy me a new sleeve of balls. I brought it to the parents, because he wasn't going to do it. Golf balls are expensive. They are like $4 a piece."

Kade made sure to point that was one of just two times he lost to Max that summer.

"We played tons," Kade said. "Too many times to count, but you can count the two times he beat me."

"I think it was three," Max quickly countered.

"Sure, I'll give him three, just because I got it the rest of the time," Kade said with a smile.

That rivalry has helped TMP this spring.

TMP will compete Monday at Cimarron Golf Course at the Class 3A regional golf tournament. Tee off is 9 a.m.

The top two teams plus the next five lowest individual scores not on a qualifying team will earn the right to compete at the state tournament.

If the Monarchs have a shot at making state, the Megaffin brothers likely will have played a significant part in it.

Kade and Max Megaffin are two of TMP's top-three golfers along with freshman Hayden Rohr.

"I know Max is always looking to beat his older brother," said TMP coach Bryan VonFeldt. "That's been his driving force over the last year or two, but I don't think Kade is going to let him beat him, at least not easily."

That sibling rivalry has made the team better, VonFeldt said.

"When they are pushing each other, it helps," he said.

"It keeps the drive up, keeps them out here practicing and gives them a little extra motivation to go out there and play well."

Siblings in golf is pretty common.

Besides the Megaffins, the Ihrig brothers and Jones brothers have dominated the golf scene in Goodland in recent years, and the Brown brothers have had a successful year at Oberlin.

"Golf is such a tough sport to pick up and be good at it within a year or two," VonFeldt said. "You almost need your family to be golf oriented or have your folks play golf so you are out there when you are 10, 11, 12 years old. Otherwise, it's difficult to pick it up and be good at it. "

Though the Megaffin brothers bicker like many siblings do, Kade said he's glad he gets to spend extra time with his brother. With Kade and Max two years apart, they each have their own groups of friends, so golf is a time when they can hang around each other more.

"Especially now that I'm a senior and getting ready to go to college, it's nice to spend a little more time with him, even though he would definitely never admit it," Kade said.