Though his scores have been up and down this season, St. Thomas Aquinas sophomore golfer Zack Toussaint was confident that he had the potential to be a contender as he moved into postseason play.
He took the first big step Monday afternoon at the Kansas Class 5A regional tournament, where he shot a 74 and won the individual title. His score was 3 over at the Heritage Park Golf Course.
Toussaint said his next-best score this season was a 76 at Eagle Bend Golf Course, which was good for a 16th-place tie at the Lawrence Free State Invitational. The course was par 72.
“I am capable of shooting in the 70’s but got some bad breaks on other courses,” Toussaint said. “Nothing has really changed. It’s how I should have played on other courses.”
Toussaint credited his success in the short game for his ability to shoot 1 over on the front nine and 2 over on the back. He got up and down 12 times on the day.
“My driver was good and I had an all right second shot,” Toussaint said. “Once I got onto the greens I did really well.”
His first-place finish helped the Saints capture the team title and one of the three state meet bids that were up for grabs. BV West and St. James Academy will also take their entire teams to Sand Creek Station Golf Course in Newton next Tuesday.
“I had no idea coming in how we would finish because it was like a roll of the dice between four really good teams,” Aquinas coach Ryan Best said. “I’m glad they played well, and they seem to take care of business when the postseason comes around.”
Jared Loomis and James Pyle joined Toussaint in the top 10, finishing fifth and seventh after a three-way tie-break at 78. Jake Konnesky shot an 81, but missed out on placing after a five-way tie-break for 10th.
BV West finished just 5 strokes behind Aquinas thanks to runner-up and third-place finishes by Ian Addison and James Henderson. Addison shot a 76 and Henderson, who won the Eastern Kansas League for the second straight season, shot a 77.
“James is a mainstay and he is one of the best golfers in the state in my opinion,” Bandy said. “Ian was a guy that really came through and helped us. He has been up and down and hasn’t been able to sustain a round of golf in quite a while, but he did today when it counted.”
Led by Jack Reilly, St. James took three of the next five spots and finished 3 strokes behind BV West. Reilly shot a 78 and was sixth, Will Wilk was 1 stroke back in eighth and Corbin Befort rounded out the top 10 with an 81.
Mill Valley followed in fourth place and missed a team bid, but still qualified three individuals. Ben Hadden led the way with a fourth-place finish, and he will be joined by Jalen Oehlert and Matt Bahle.
The final two individual qualifiers were BV Southwest’s Landen King and Seth Wingerter.