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TMP golf on hot streak heading to state

By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

Thomas More Prep-Marian golf coach Bryan VonFeldt said his squad's expectations have grown "tremendously" since the beginning of the season.

Near the start of April, TMP finished fourth out of four teams at Larned, and then at TMP, no Monarch scored in the top 10.

However, in the last month, TMP has come on strong, finishing fourth out of 10 teams at Dodge City, a meet featuring 5A and 6A schools other than TMP. Then the Monarchs took first at Ellsworth and won the Class 3A regional on Monday at Cimarron.

TMP will compete this Monday at the Class 3A state championships at Spring Creek Golf Course in Seneca. Tee off is scheduled for 9 a.m.

"We started this year off and kind of struggled a little bit, but we took it week by week and got a little bit better and a little bit better," VonFeldt said. "We are finally peaking at the right time. Hopefully, we have another peak in store on Monday."

At the regional, TMP had three finish in the top 10.

Senior Kade Megaffin finished second with a 76, and sophomore Max Megaffin placed fifth with an 80. Freshman Hayden Rohr was 10th with an 86.

Seniors Garrett Stoecklein and Kade Schmidt and sophomore Lane Fisher round out the rest of the state-qualifying squad.

VonFeldt said his team has gotten more confident as the season has progressed.

"(Their expectations) keep climbing," VonFeldt said. "Kade Megaffin is not going to go out there and shoot an 83 or 84 and be happy. That is totally out of his expectation range right now. Now it's, 'I'm going to try and win.'"

This year's squad has a chance to do something past teams haven't done in recent years: bring home a trophy. It's a possibility, especially since some of the top 3A schools aren't 3A anymore.

Last year, former 3A powerhouse Wichita-Collegiate went up to 4A and Kansas City Christian dropped to 2A. Then this year, defending 3A champion Goodland moved to 4A, leaving 3A wide open.

"We haven't brought home any hardware the last two years," VonFeldt said. "Hopefully, the third time is the charm."

The Megaffin brothers have been the backbone of TMP's squad this season, but if it wasn't for Rohr replacing his older brother Brady Rohr's score, a senior last year who won the squad's regional tournament, VonFeldt said TMP likely wouldn't be where it is now.

"You can't ask for much more out of a freshman," VonFeldt said.

Rohr, who competes in summer golf tournaments, said he always thought he could play at the varsity level.

"I thought I had a chance since I had practiced for so long," Rohr said.

Rohr, the lone freshman top-10 finisher at the regional, said his performances haven't surprised his teammates, but he does shock some of the groups he's played with.

"Every time I'm in a tournament, everybody asks how old I am," he said. "Everybody is surprised I'm a freshman in their group."