TWIN FALLS — Daniel Gaspar is hopping across the country to play Division I golf next year after signing with the University of Missouri–Kansas City Kangaroos on Wednesday.
The trip may seem to be a long one, but it will take him just across the border from his home state of Kansas, where his sister Danielle currently plays golf at Fort Hays State.
Gaspar said that one of the big draws of moving to Kansas City was getting away from rural life for a little while.
“The area is really nice,” he said.
Gaspar has played golf since he was 3 years old, and he started playing competitively at age 10. When he moved to Twin Falls in 2015, he immediately became one of the Bruins’ lowest scorers. In 2016, he helped the Bruins to their seventh straight 4A state title, contributing the lowest score for his team (72).
Gaspar has also excelled outside of high school play. This summer, Gaspar won the Idaho qualifier for the Big I National Championship, a tournament that has featured PGA Tour players, most notably Tiger Woods. Gaspar also won the 2017 Dropping Junior Championship, a college-format tournament held in Eagle.
The high level of play and expectations will follow him to UMKC, one of the strongest golf teams in the Western Athletic Conference. The Kangaroos earned the conference title in 2016 and finished second in 2015 and 2017. Gaspar said that level of play was a big draw for him.
“I thought getting onto a program that was already good and was accomplished would help me get better, as well,” he said.
Steve Meyerhoffer, head coach of the Twin Falls golf team, said Gaspar exemplifies two keys of a strong athlete: gifted play and passion for the sport.
“He is very talented,” Meyerhoffer said, “and he loves the game of golf. So I expect great things from him, and I’m proud to be his coach.”
Gaspar still has one more season to play with the Bruins, and he hopes that after a fifth-place individual finish and third-place team finish at the state tournament last year, he and his team can finish stronger.
“Going into this season, I feel a lot better than last year,” he said. “The major goals for this season: try to win state as a team and as an individual, and finish out senior year strong.”