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Dillon, Martin qualify for state golf

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone
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Louisburg freshman Calvin Dillon watches as his shot sails toward the green Monday during the Class 4A regional tournament at Woodland Hills Golf Course in Fort Scott. Dillon shot an 82 and finished third overall.

 

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FORT SCOTT – Louisburg senior Ty Martin walked into the clubhouse at Woodland Hills Golf Course and thoughts started to creep in that his season – and high school career – was over.

Martin had just finished one of his toughest rounds of the season during the Class 4A regional tournament last Monday in Fort Scott as he shot a 92. He knew it was going to be tough for him to get into the state tournament with that score as the top five individuals that didn’t qualify as a team earn a bid.

So Martin walked up to look at the scores that had already come in and he was stunned.

“I saw a lot of scores in the 100s and the 90s,” Martin said. “I was kind of relieved at the point because I didn’t think I was going to make it because of how bad I was playing.”

When all was said and done, Martin’s score was good enough to allow him to medal seventh overall and he earned a spot at the state tournament in Wamego. He won’t be the only Louisburg golfer to go either.

Freshman Calvin Dillon, who had led the Wildcats’ most of the season, did so again Monday. Dillon shot an 82, which was 10-over par, and finished third individually.

“It feels exciting to qualify for state as a freshman,” Dillon said. “Whenever I play, I try to focus in and play at my highest potential.

Louisburg senior Ty Martin follows through on his tee shot Monday during the Class 4A regional in Fort Scott. Martin shot a 92 to take seventh.

Martin will make his second consecutive trip to the state and is just happy he will join Dillon at the Class 4A tournament that will be held in Wamego.

“It feels good,” Martin said. “I had a mindset going in that I was going to make it to state no matter what. It would have been embarrassing to me not being able to make it this year after qualifying last year. I just love playing golf and I wouldn’t want to end the year without going back to state.”

Dillon accomplished a rare feat himself at qualifying for the state tournament as a freshman and is happy to join his senior teammate on the Wamego course.

“Ty has been a great teammate this year and a great role model to base my game off of,” Dillon said. “With both of us going it takes a lot of pressure off since Ty has been there before. He’s able to help me know what to expect at the state level.”

Dillon did a good job navigating a tough Woodland Hills course as he stayed away from multiple bad holes. The Louisburg freshman parred nine holes and had just one double bogey.

“Under any conditions it is a tough course with tight fairways and small greens,” Dillon said “But at the end of the day, everyone has to play the course in the same conditions. With the fairways being so tight it’s hard to put the ball in play. There were a couple holes I played where I took bigger numbers than I wanted to because I didn’t put the ball in play.”

As for Martin, he had the opportunity to play some extra holes as he finished in a tie for seventh. Although he his state spot was already secured, he had to play in a 3-way playoff for medal positioning.

Martin outdueled Girard’s Cooper Brown and Cole Warner to nail down the seventh-place spot as he put his struggles behind him.

“I wasn’t out there trying to play conservative, I was just playing to see how good I could actually shoot,” Martin said. “I wasn’t worried about the medals or anything like that. I was just glad I was going to state. I still wanted to win it though because I am competitive. I went into it knowing that I was better the other guys in the playoff because I had just played terrible earlier in the day.

“To start the tournament, surprisingly I was really nervous off the first tee box. I had a bad hole but I just told myself that it was just one hole and to move on. It just kept piling on. I just got a couple of unlucky bounces, including some that went out of bounds and it seemed nothing was going my way the whole day pretty much. It was weird.”

As a team, Louisburg finished fourth with a 383. Junior Justin Sievert was third on the Wildcat team with a 104 and senior Jake Hill had a 105. Ignacio Huesa and Kai Tinich shot a 109 and 114, respectively, to round out the team.

Burlington won the team title with a 353 and Girard was second with a 366 as both teams qualified for state. Burlington’s Jace Watkins won the tournament with a 77 and Fort Scott’s Nicholas King was second with a 78.

Dillon and Martin will hit the Wamego Country Club course this Monday for Class 4A state tournament. Martin will tee off at 8:40 a.m. and Dillon will get going at 10 a.m. in what is a staggered start.

“I played Wamego over spring break and I really enjoyed the course,” Dillon said. “I hope to medal and avoid the big number.”

Martin has the same goals.

“I would like to medal for sure,” he said. “I hope to shoot in the low 80s or 70s and try to get those nerves out of the way and not be as nervous as last time. I really don’t have anything to lose.”

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