Varsity Kansas

Wellington's Miller denied in bid for third 4A golf title

HUTCHINSON — When Wellington senior Myles Miller walked to No. 17 at Hutchinson's Prairie Dunes Country Club, the two-time defending Class 4A individual golf champion wanted to know what he needed to do to win.

At that point, Miller was at even-par, while Topeka Hayden's Justice Valdivia was finished and had a low-score 68.

"He asked me," Wellington coach James Ginter said. "As a coach, it's a tough position to be in. You don't want to put too much pressure on the young man. Likely, he has a good good shot at going birdie, birdie, anyway. He wanted to know what was in front of him. He went for it.... He wasn't going out to take second."

Miller parred No. 17 and needed an eagle on the final hole. He double-bogeyed the hole after losing his ball in the gunsch and finished second with a two-over par 72.

"I was going to go for eagle on 17," said Miller, who will play at Wichita State. "I had a good shot at it. I was 120 yards out on the fairway, hitting two, and I had a terrible shot, junked it, and it went downhill from there."

He hit into a bunker and two-putted for par.

"It wasn't there today," Miller said. "You have those days. It does (hurt not to win), quite a bit. Oh well."

Wellington finished third for the second straight season with a 334, 13 shots off champion Topeka Hayden's score. Tonganoxie finished second with a 332.

That Valdivia shot such a strong round was a bit of a surprise.

"I was really hoping just to shoot in the 70s," he said. "I was swinging easy, keeping it in the fairways and I made all the putts I needed to. For the most part, I put it in the right spots and when I missed, I missed in the right spots and was able to get up and down."

Miller, though, didn't play as well as he wanted.

"I didn't hit it very well," he said. "I kind of struggled the whole way, not hitting real good shots. I was just kind of surviving."

While the conditions were wonderful, with little wind, the course is extremely difficult.

The biggest problem was the narrow fairways, and many golf balls were lost.

"There's nothing easy about this course," Miller said. "It's hard from the first tee until the moment you are done."

Winfield's Seth Bryan finished third, winning a two-hole playoff over Tonganoxie's Colby Yates.

"I had about five holes where I one-putted," Bryan said. "I got a couple birdies on the back nine to go for me, and I was even through 14. Then I got on a bogey train and I couldn't get off."

Bryan bogeyed his final four holes.

"I didn't have everything there today," he said. "I didn't have my swing all there. A little magic was lost on my putter toward the end. Overall, I have to be satisfied with the way I hit the ball. I made a lot of putts today that haven't been falling for me all year."

Maize South sophomore Alex Schremmer also won in a playoff, finishing fifth in his first time qualifying for the state tournament.

He hit about a 20-foot putt on No. 18 to force a tiebreaker.

Augusta's Trey Hayden finished eighth with a 78, while Wellington's Brendon McDonald was 10th with an 81, winning a playoff on the first hole.

El Dorado's Kevin House finished tied for 11th with an 81, while Cheney's Gage Scheer and Mulvane's Gage Cain were tied for 17th with 83s. Cain's medal is Mulvane's first in the 10-year history of the school's program.

At Prairie Dunes Country Club

Team scores

1. Topeka Hayden 321 (Justice Valdivia, Kurt Walker, Steven Amrein, Brock Falley), 2. Tonganoxie 332 (Colby Yates, Kody Campbell, Tyler Hall, Drew Sandburg), 3. Wellington 334 (Myles Miller, Brendon McDonald, Ben Wilson, David Gaston), 4. Independence 336, 5. KC Piper 345, 6. Ulysses 346, 7. Hesston 354, 8. Holton 354, 9. Ottawa 354, 10. Coffeyville 355, 11. Buhler 364, 12. Chanute 370.

Individual results

1. Justice Valdivia, Topeka Hayden, 68; 2. Myles Miller, Wellington, 72; 3. Seth Bryan, Winfield, 74; 4. Colby Yates, Tonganoxie, 74; 5. Alex Schremmer, Maize South, 75; 6. Spencer Walter, Anderson County, 75; 7. Brady Buxman, Ulysses, 76; 8. Trey Hayden, Ausuta, 78; 9. Kevin Boyle, Topeka Hayden, 79; 10. Brendon McDonald, Wellington, 81; 11. (tie) Peyton Botts, Independence; Kevin House, El Dorado; Clinton Moore, Ottawa; Zach Fate, Holton, 81; 15. Lex Deal, Concordia, 82; 16. Eric Schlange, Iindependence, 82; 17. (tie) Luke Vacca, Coffeyville; Gage Scheer, Cheney; Gage Cain, Mulvane; Zach George, Ottawa, 83.