BURLEY – Preston Meyerhoeffer went into Tuesday’s Kerbs Invitational merely hoping to eliminate the shanks. The Twin Falls High School junior ended the day with his best tournament round this season, and perhaps his career.
Meyerhoeffer shot a 2-under 70 at the River’s Edge Golf Club on Tuesday. It didn’t count toward Twin’s overall score, but it didn’t matter. The Bruins won the boys title, and Meyerhoeffer had a career day.
“Today was probably the best I’ve hit the ball in a long time,” Meyerhoeffer said. “It was a good confidence booster.”
The Twin boys finished with a tournament-best score of 291 – 15 better than second-place Minico – without Meyerhoeffer’s 70. Canyon Ridge challenged the Twin girls, but the Bruins held on 378-383 to complete a team sweep at Tuesday’s invitational that featured all six Great Basin Conference teams.
Meyerhoeffer’s teammate, Daniel Gaspar, shot a 3-under 69 for the best score – boys or girls – of the tournament. Under par rounds are common for Gaspar, but this score had a dose of payback. For one, he shot an 85 at least year’s windy Kerbs Invite (Tuesday was the least-windy round Gaspar has played at River’s Edge, he said). Also, Minico’s Joey Gibson outdueled Gaspar by one stroke to earn medalist honors at last month’s Minico tournament. Gibson, who was paired with Gaspar on Tuesday, shot an 82.
“I hit more greens, so that made it easier. Didn’t have to try and scramble,” Gaspar said.
The girls played with a par 75 – three more than the boys – on Tuesday, but that didn’t mask an overall underwhelming day for the top players in the field.
Canyon Ridge’s Bailey Henley led the girls with a 7-over 82. She finished four clear of second-place Tayllore Ward, of Twin Falls, but that was no consolation. For a golfer who is used to shooting in the 70s, her score was not where she had hoped.
“It’s golf,” Henley said. “Sometimes it’s just bad.”
Just last month, Henley medaled at the Twin Falls tournament with a 70, so her disappointment with Tuesday’s round wasn’t exaggerated.
“Different golf courses, different mentalities, I guess,” Henley said. “We didn’t get to hit any range balls today because their was frost on the green, which still isn’t a very good excuse, but I’m sure it had a little bit of an effect.”
While the girls struggled, 13 boys finished with an 82 or better. Meyerhoeffer’s 70 was not among those 13 rounds, at least not officially.
Twin’s golfers played 14 holes at Twin Falls Golf Course on Monday to determine Tuesday’s qualifiers. Only five would get to be able to contribute to the final varsity score. Meyerhoeffer’s score of 10-over was two strokes behind fifth place, so he was relegated to Twin’s JV team on Tuesday.
“I wasn’t fully prepared,” Meyerhoeffer said of Monday’s performance.
Meyerhoeffer’s swing felt better on the first few holes of Tuesday’s round, but the round didn’t turn special until his fourth hole. Meyerhoeffer faced a chip off the green on the par-3 17th, and he clubbed it harder than he wanted. But the ball met the pin and dropped into the hole for a birdie.
He didn’t stop there. On the par-5 18th (his fifth hole), Meyerhoeffer sunk another chip, this time for eagle. He played his first hole (his sixth) almost identically: good drive, better approach and a chip that “died in the hole”, as he described it.
The 5-under through three holes performance left Meyerhoeffer in an enviable spot. Sure, there was some pressure to preserve the dream round, but the chip-ins gave him extra strokes to work with. Sure enough, he finished strong.
While Meyerhoeffer’s 70, which would have tied him for second, didn’t count toward his team’s score, it still has ramifications. Twin coach Matt Harr will average every qualifying and tournament round when determining who will represent the Bruins at the 4A state tournament. Meyerhoeffer’s performance on Sunday vastly improved his odds of making that trip.
Above all, Meyerhoeffer is thrilled he played well. He shot a 76 and 81 at his previous two tournaments this season.
“I never play well in tournaments, it seems like,” he said. “It was nice to finally show up for one.”
1. Twin Falls 291 2. Minico 306 3. Burley 318 4. Canyon Ridge 352 5. Jerome 362 6. Wood River 381
1. Twin Falls 378. 2. Canyon Ridge 383 3. Minico 478 Burley NQ Jerome NQ Wood River NQ
1. Daniel Gaspar (TF) 69 t-2. Chance Moseley (MIN) 70 t-2. Brock Whitaker (BUR) 70 4. Zach Malina (TF) 71 5. Drew Meyerhoeffer (TF) 75 6. Tanner Shultz (TF) 76 t-7. Alex DiLucca (JER) 77 t-7. Peyton Orr (MIN) 77 t-7. Ridge Pickup (BUR) 77 t-7. Gage Skaggs (MIN) 77.
1. Bailey Henley (CR) 82 2. Tayllore Ward (TF) 86 3. Danielle Doerflein (WR) 88 4. Kaylee Jones (TF) 95 t-5. Brooke Fuchs (TF) 98 t-5. Kelbie Standley (CR) 98 7. Eisabella (TF) 99 t-8. MaKenzie McBride (CR) 101 t-8. Bailey Miller (JER) 101 10. Sam Fitzpatrick (CR) 101