YORKTOWN — Mt. Vernon’s Oliver Mast finally let the moment take hold Saturday evening. Having just reached his season-long goal, the sophomore couldn’t help but stop and admire the future.
He earned it.
“It should be fun. I’ll have my first taste at it, so we’ll see what it brings,” Mast responded when asked about qualifying for this week’s golf state finals. “Not a lot of expectations really. Just going out there to play golf. If something good happens, it happens.
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“I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
Raising his game at every level so far this postseason, Mast brings confidence and casual efficiency into Tuesday morning’s 79th Annual IHSAA Boys Golf State Finals.
At The Players Club in Yorktown this past weekend, he shot a regional-best 1-over-par 73, which locked him in a four-way playoff for regional medalist.
He finished tied for second overall with Bishop Chatard’s Nick Williams, while the duo of Hamilton Southeastern’s Nick Kuster and Muncie Central’s Keegan Bronnenberg shared co-medalist honors.
Mast improved his score by one stroke from the Greenfield-Central Sectional at Hawks Tail on June 8 when he also took runner-up following a sudden-death playoff for medalist.
Mast turned in an 80 as a freshman at regional a year ago, and his best postseason performance occurred last season at sectional with a 71 to win the tournament.
His 73 at this year’s regional came off of 15 pars, a birdie and two bogeys.
He nearly birdied his second hole during the four-way playoff but had to settle for a par. A bogey on the final of two playoff holes put him at 2-over in the end as lightning and rain stopped play.
With both high-pressure playoff situations behind him, Mast is eager to build on his postseason momentum as one of the state’s top 100 golfers at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel.
“Going into a tie at the sectional and again at regional definitely shows I have the game to do it,” Mast said. “Coming out here with best of the top schools in HSE, Noblesville and Yorktown and to be one of the top four scorers says a lot.”
Mast will play 36 holes over two days to decide this year’s individual state champion. He is paired with Western sophomore Riley Tomlinson and Crown Point senior Michael Lee.
The threesome tees off at 8 a.m. on the first hole.
Who: Mt. Vernon’s Oliver Mast (tee time: 8 a.m. at first hole)
What: 79th Annual IHSAA Boys Golf State Finals
Where: Prairie View Golf Club, 7000 Longest Drive, Carmel, IN. 46033
When: Day 1 – today/Day 2 – Wednesday
Advancement: All teams and individuals will play 36 holes.
Admission: $12 per person (ticket good for both days)
Parking: Available off-site southwest of the roundabout at the intersection of Main Street and River Road. Shuttles will transport spectators to and from the golf course.