Bader runs hot, cold at state
Zach Bader played his best and worst golf Monday at the Kansas 4A golf tournament at the Coffeyville Country Club in Coffeyville.
The De Soto senior looked unbeatable during a one-over- par 37 front nine. But then he struggled to an 11-over- par 47 back nine. Despite the first-time state qualifier's struggles, De Soto golf coach Scott Sharp guessed that Bader finished somewhere in the top 30 with his 12- over- par round of 84.
"I think I got a little bit of a big head," Bader said. "I knew that if I kept playing the way I was, that I'd have a chance to win it."
Bader's front nine consisted of two birdies, four pars and three bogeys. His back nine was made up of an uncharacteristic five double bogeys, a bogey and three pars.
Bader's good fortune turned into misfortune on the par-4 10th hole when he carded a double bogey six.
"He rarely ever makes double bogey," Sharp said. "My gut tells me he was thinking too much and over analyzing everything. I am proud of his play on the front nine."
Bader began his final high school round with a birdie on the par-4 first hole when he slapped a drive down the middle of the fairway, hit his second shot close and then sank his putt on the par-4 hole.
"I finished short of my expectations, especially after the start I had," Bader said. "But it was an experience I won't soon forget. There were so many people there. It was cool and nerve racking all at the same time."
Sharp said Bader showed his golf maturity on the par-5 sixth hole. Instead of going for the green in two shots, Bader laid up by hitting a 6- iron and then stuck a 58-degree wedge shot to within 2 feet of the pin. He then sank his birdie putt.
On the seventh hole, Bader nearly holed out from 125 yards away. His 54-degree wedge shot landed just beyond the pin but rolled back toward the hole. The ball then rimmed out of the hole and came to rest within 3 feet. Bader settled for a par after missing the putt.
Bader, who hit five greens in regulation on the front nine, finished the 18 holes with seven greens hit in regulation. Of the nine fairways he hit, six occurred during the first nine holes he played.
The future Ottawa University golfer needed just 30 putts to finish 18 holes. His total on the front nine was 13.
Wildcat freshman Payne Wilkie also participated in the tournament, which featured 103 of the best golfers in 4A.
Wilkie concluded his first golf season with a 44-43 87.