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Kernel golfers riding momentum into state

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Mitchell's Kade Clark watches an approach shot during the Eastern South Dakota Conference meet on Sept. 28 at Lakeview Golf Course.

YANKTON -- Confidence is key in golf.

For the Mitchell High School boys golf team, its confidence is surging at the right time of the season.

The Kernels are coming off a season-best 323 team score at the Eastern South Dakota Conference golf meet on Sept. 28. Mitchell hopes the trend continues at the Class AA state golf tournament, which is Monday and Tuesday at Hillcrest Golf & Country Club in Yankton.

“We are showing constant improvement,” Mitchell coach Mark Horan said. “We are peaking at the right time it looks like to me. So we are hoping to have a good state tournament.”

Individually, the Kernels are led by their three seniors in Max Tupper, Max Dailey and Kade Clark. Dailey is Mitchell’s best-returning finisher from last season as he tied for 33rd at state. Clark tied for 47th, while Tupper tied for 57th.

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“We have three seniors that I hope have a good state tournament,” Horan said. “I don’t want to put a lot of pressure on them. I just hope they go and play well.”

Lincoln Bates has turned in a solid freshman campaign and is coming off an 80 at the ESD, which was his best competitive round of the season.

“Lincoln Bates has really been coming on lately, too,” Horan said. “He’s been shooting some nice golf.”

The Kernels took ninth at state last year and Horan said that’s about where the team is seeded again this season. Horan points to Rapid City Stevens, Sioux Falls Roosevelt, Sioux Falls Lincoln and host Yankton among the favorites in the field.

“We are right in the middle of the pack and we are where I thought we would be,” Horan said. “We are probably seeded ninth and anything better than that would be a positive for us.”

The Kernels have not played at Hillcrest yet this season. They were scheduled to play there in mid-September, but couldn’t due to rainy weather.

They are still familiar with the course and will head to Yankton on Saturday to play a couple practice rounds over the weekend.

“It’s a very tough course,” Horan said. “It’s not long, but it’s tight and you have to control distances -- both your placement and the fairway and shots in the greens. They are small, small greens. They are usually very quick and they are also very tilted greens. So if you hit a shot long you are kind of really in trouble.”

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Parkston, Chamberlain golfers among top Class A contenders

VERMILLION -- Parkston and Chamberlain golfers are projected to be in the mix in the Class A state golf meet at The Bluffs Golf Course.

Chamberlain’s Cameron Caldwell and Parkston’s Payton Koehn will tee off at 9 a.m. Monday in the No. 1 pairing. Chamberlain’s Drayton Priebe will tee off in the 9:10 a.m. pairing on Monday.

Caldwell captured fifth last season for the Cubs after shooting a 19-over-par 162. Parkston’s Quinn Bormann tied for 12th last season and he tees off at 10:10 a.m. Monday.

Related Topics: GOLF
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