EMPORIA, Kan. — When pressure and expectation fall in front of Maize South’s Wells Padgett, it only paints a better picture for the junior phenom.
After falling by two strokes for the 2015 Class 5A golf individual title, the Auburn commit etched his name in Kansas high school history by claiming 2016’s top prize at Emporia Municipal Golf Course.
“Most other states play two or three rounds for the championship and usually that helps the better players,” Padgett said. “It’s definitely a tough tournament. Last year, I played pretty well, but I was beat by somebody who had a good day. This year, I was hoping to shoot a good enough score, so that nobody could shoot a career round and beat me.”
The Maverick golfer shot 2-under for the day (69), outlasting St. Thomas Aquinas sophomore Jack Seiler for first place.
Padgett shot 4-under on the front nine in Emporia (32) and finished the day by going 2-over on the back half of the course.
Finishing the 2-under performance was no surprise to Maize South coach Steve Martling after witnessing Padgett close the season on a big note.
“It was a big finish for him,” Martling said. “He has been a great golfer for the last couple of years and second half of this season he finished under par the last five tournaments. He’s a terrific pressure player.”
KAPAUN TAKES SECOND
Winners of four-straight state championships, Kapaun Mt. Carmel saw its streak come to a close.
The Crusaders finished second (307) behind St. Thomas Aquinas and were led by Eric Ewers and John Baker, who shot a 75 and 73, respectively.