by Michael Smith
Grain Valley senior Owen Herbert did it again.
After finishing as an all-state golfer last season, taking 11th with a two-day score of 154.
This season, he finished his career with a second all-state placement as he shot a 74 on Monday and a 76 on Tuesday to end with a five-way tie for 12th place with a score of 150 at the Class 4 Missouri State High School Boys Golf Championships at the Sedalia Country Club.
The top 15 scores earn all-state medals.
“The goal for my freshman year was to make it to state all four years,” Herbert said. “COVID canceled my freshman season, but I was able to make it the other years, so I was three for three.
“I knew coming in that Grain Valley didn’t have the best history of all-time golfers. There had definitely been some good years in the past. My goal was to have my name on the (Grain Valley all-state list) within my four years here. Now, I will be there somewhere. It is cool to know that all the hard work paid off a little bit.”
The Eagles finished sixth as a team with a two-day score of 636 after shooting a 312 on Monday and finishing with a 324 on Tuesday. They were seven strokes off from earning a team plaque as Springfield Glendale took fourth with a score of 629.
Pembroke Hill won with a 611, shooting a 303 on Monday and a 308 on Tuesday.
While his team didn’t come away with a plaque, head coach Andy Herbert was pleased with his team’s season, as Grain Valley qualified as a squad for just the second time in program history. The first time was last season.
“Our goal was to bring home a trophy, and we didn’t, so that was a little disappointing,” Andy Herbert said. “They played well and competed well. It’s tough to replicate what you did on the first day on the second.”
“They put our golf program on the map the past couple of years. It was a great run.”
It was a great run for Owen Herbert, too, as he accomplished the uncommon feat of earning an all-state medal in two consecutive years.
“As a coach and a dad, it’s a pretty unique experience,” Andy Hertber said of witnessing his son, Owen earning another medal. He knew where he stood on those last three holes and to stay even par, says a lot about his mental toughness.
“He was able to focus and perform under pressure.”
Herbert said he thought he didn’t have a good enough score to earn a medal after the final hole, but he ended up being pleasantly surprised.
“They had a big scoreboard at the 18th green,” Owen Herbert said. “I knew I was going to have to play well on the back side to get into the top 15. I thought I was going to have to get a birdie on the last hole to make it into the top 15.
“I hit a ball out of the bunker and thought I had to make that. But I tapped in a short put to get par. I looked at the leaderboard and saw I was in the top 15, so that was pretty cool.”
He said he came up clutch on the final three holes of the par-70 course as he earned par on each of them.
Junior Charlie Aldred finished in a three-way tie for 29th with a score of 155, just five strokes shy of earning an all-state medal himself. He shot a 77 on Monday and a 78 on Tuesday.
Freshman Eli Herbert was in a four-way tie for 49th place as he finished at 162. Senior Jaiden Wilson tied three others in 64th with a score of 169.
Grain Valley senior Owen Herbert shot a two-day total of 150 at the Missouri State High School Boys Golf Championships to earn a all-state medal Tuesday at the Sedalia County Club. He finished 12th overall. PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDY HERBERT
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