The Waynesville golf team opened their season with a pair of tri's last week.

The Waynesville Tiger Boy's golf season got underway on Wednesday, March 21 as the Tigers traveled to Lebanon for a triangular match with Lebanon and Osage. The match was a reschedule from Monday's rainout. The weather was sunny and cool and the course in fair shape for the middle of March.

The Yellowjackets came out on top in the varsity match with a 157 to Osage's 167 and the Tigers matched last season's team total of 212. In the JV match Osage scored a 203, Lebanon 219 and Waynesville 255. Cooper Hess from Lebanon was the medalist with a low score of 1 under par 35.

Our Tigers are very young this season with no seniors on the team. The Tigers are being led this year by two juniors Ben Pollman and Max Reyes. We have a highly motivated group of freshman and sophomores who make up the nucleus of the team. Two standouts that have impressed early this season are Sophomore Aaron Choi and Freshman Ben Whitten. Both have been playing for at least a year have shown signs of being able to get their games in shape to compete at our district tournament.

Choi led the Tigers tonight with a team low 46, followed by Whitten's 53, AJ Cabanes 55, Max Reyes 58, and Ben Bibb 61. Aaron practiced well on Tuesday as he worked out a few swing issues and played well tonight. He has vastly improved from a year ago as he has gotten much better with his short game. Whitten played number 1 as a freshman and did well for his first experience with Spring golf in Missouri. After tonights match I feel he has learned a lot about playing with thin lies, fairways that run out, and how to putt firm, but slow greens. This will make his practice time very valuable as he works on club selection, learning to bump and run a pitch shot, and managing the course. He wasn't personally happy with his round, but he realizes he will have growing pains with playing new courses and encountering many different varieties of fairways, rough, and greens over the next 2 months.

All in all, I am very pleased with the progress of all the players tonight and this season. Their dedication and practice focus is the best I have had in 5 seasons. They want to get better, they want to compete, and they want to build a strong team for the future.

The Waynesville Tiger golf team then hosted a tri match between Jefferson City, Rolla and Waynesville on Thursday. The weather was ideal with low winds and warmer temperatures. The teams competed at the Piney Valley Golf Course on Fort Leonard Wood. Rolla won the team match with a score of 171, Jeff City 173, and the Tigers came in with a 215 score. Rolla also won the JV match with a 196, Jeff City 218, and Waynesville 259. Brett Trowbridge was the medalist with a 2 over par 38, but the shot of the night came from Rolla's Jeriah Jordan as he hit his second shot of the night on the par 4 7th hole into the cup for an eagle 2 from 150 yards.

Waynesville was led by Freshman Ben Whitten with a 48, Ben Pollman 53, Max Reyes 56, Aaron Choi 58 and AJ Cabanes 58 rounded out the Tiger scoring. For the JV Ahmed Amjed 62, Cody Caple 65, Ben Bibb, Archer Hedgepath, and Zach Medina all had 66's.

We improved 5 strokes from last years score of 220, so we are heading in the right direction. The players are starting to hit the ball solid from tee to green, so the short game is going to be a huge key in dropping out individual and team scores. After our second match, all the players have a really good idea of what areas of their game they need to focus on to improve at their next match. I am pleased with their progress and continued great attitudes towards getting better.

The Tigers were next scheduled to play at the Union Invitational on Monday, March 26th, but results were not available at press time.