Eric Wilmoth didn’t play like a freshman.
Wilmoth, of Mount Vernon, Mo., beat Cooper Craig of Joplin, Mo., in a one-hole playoff to take medalist honors at the Miami Invitational golf tournament Monday at Peoria Ridge Golf Course.
Wilmoth and Craig finished with rounds of 77, then Wilmoth parred the extra hole thanks to a 9-inch putt while Craig took a bogey.
“The wind made it tough,” Wilmoth said. “You had to keep the ball low and just let it fly.”
While Wilmoth captured individual honors, Joplin captured the team title with a 333 total.
The tournament, which had been cancelled by nasty weather last year, bounced back and attracted 24 teams.
New this year were St. Mary’s-Colgan of Pittsburg, Kan., which finished fourth behind the Eagles, Mount Vernon (352) and Claremore (354).
Another new entry was Keys.
Wilmoth and Craig had identical nines, 39 and 38, to force the playoff.
“I just wanted to keep my drives in the middle,” Wilmoth said, especially during the playoff. The No. 1 tee at Peoria Ridge had players teeing off right in to a south wind that had gusts up to 39 mph.
“The second shot wasn’t what I wanted but I had a good third shot to put it close,” Wilmoth said.
His fourth shot hit the green pin high and kicked to the left, stopping less than a foot short.
“I thought I had about a 15-footer for a birdie,” Wilmoth said.
The wind helped balloon the scores. Craig and Wilmoth were 5-over par on the day and there were a whopping 46 rounds of 100 or more.
Thanks to Craig’s score, the Eagles had two players among the top seven individuals.
Matt Ditto tied with Claremore’s Tyler Grubb for seventh at 83.
Joplin, under former Picher-Cardin coach Jack Pace, also had an 86 from Jeff Black.
Wilmoth was the only player under 90 for Mount Vernon.
Miami’s Seth Rhodes finished third with a 79. And that was after taking a 10 on one hole on the back nine.
The Wardogs were 12th as a team at 373.
Billy Baird turned in a 97, followed by Neil Maguire at 98 and Conner Risenhoover at 99.
Cody Potter had Miami’s “throwaway” score, a 105.
The Wardogs are idle until next Monday, when they enter a tournament at Grove.