Two trips to the MSHSAA Golf Championships have meant two Class 4 all-state medals for Washington High School junior Brad Carpenter.
After finishing in a tie for third place last season, Carpenter earned all-state honors again this year with a tie for 10th place with rounds of 76 and 75 for a 151 total Monday and Tuesday at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield.
The top 15 finishers earned all-state medals.
“I’m not disappointed at all about how I played. It’s very cool to be all-state for the second straight year,” Carpenter said. “My driver was my best club on both days. My irons were decent. I struggled on the greens the first day. I had 34 putts. I putted better on the second day with 29 putts. A few shots got away from me in the two rounds. Overall, I’m happy about how I played.”
On the par 72 course, Carpenter carded a four-over round of 76 on Monday.
“It was a little windy. I drove the ball well. I had a four-putt on No. 12. That hurt,” Carpenter said. “I felt like I left a couple of strokes out there, but I wasn’t disappointed with a 76.”
Carpenter improved by one stroke on Tuesday with a three-over round of 75.
“I played pretty well. A few shots cost me, but my short game was better,” Carpenter said. “On a hole on the back nine, I had trouble finding my ball in the rough. A spotter finally helped me find it. All you could see was the top of it. I hacked it out of there about 30 yards into the fairway and ended up with a par. That gave me some momentum.”
Carpenter liked the Rivercut Course, but said the toughest course he played this season was Old Hickory Golf Course, where Washington’s district tournament took place.
“The pins at Old Hickory were insane. It was tough,” Carpenter said. “The course at state had small greens, but it was fair.”
Carpenter’s parents, Kevin and Janet, along with his sister, Paige Carpenter (freshman at WHS), followed him during both rounds of state.
“We had a big gallery on the second day, probably the biggest I’ve ever had,” Carpenter said. “My parents and sister walked all 18 holes both days.”
Also following Carpenter, at times, were college golf coaches, including those from Missouri State University and Kansas State University.
“Brad had the added pressure of several college scouts following most holes he played,” Buschmann said.
“I knew they were there because I recognized some of them,” Carpenter said. “It adds to the pressure, but it didn’t bother me too much.”
Carpenter already has made college visits to Kansas State and Drake University. The University of Iowa also has shown interest.
Only a junior, Carpenter is focusing on this summer’s golf schedule along with his senior season of basketball and golf. He’s one of the top three-point basketball shooters in the area.
“This summer, I’m playing in three AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) Tournaments, which are very competitive, and I’m playing in the PGA Junior Series,” Carpenter said. “I’m looking forward to my senior year.”
Carpenter’s teammate, senior Colbey Schuster, finished one shot out of a medal, finishing with 75-79-154.
“I felt bad for Colbey. It would have been awesome for both of us to be all-state. He was one stroke away,” Carpenter said. “Colbey had a great season, along with Mark (Stahlhuth). We’ll miss them a lot next year.”
Speaking of next year, Carpenter hopes to make it three state medals in a row.
“A serious run at it would be nice, but I just want to have a solid year, get back to state and play well,” he said.