Luke Horseman set two goals before he teed off in the Missouri Stroke Play Championships. First, the West Platte senior-to-be wanted to make the cut, and he did. Then, he wanted to crack the top 20, but he finished 33rd last week at St. Joseph Country Club in St. Joseph, Mo.
Still not a bad showing for the 17-year-old in his first MGA event outside of the junior ranks.
“It’s a great opportunity to play against the top golfers in the state,” Horseman said. “There are a lot of college golfers there and ex-college golfers. It was a good chance to see where I stand.”
During the school year, Horseman plays baseball for West Platte — which does not offer a golf team.
Horseman finished 22-over in the four-round MGA Stroke Play Championships, and his best round came on the tournament’s second day with a 3-over 74, helping him comfortably make the cut as the top high school golfer. He finished 32 shots back of winner Joe Migdal, who shot 10 under and plans to turn pro soon.
In total, Horseman sank nine birdies in the four rounds but was cancelled out by six double bogeys or worse. He shot back-to-back 7-over 78s to fall down the leaderboard.
“St. Joe Country Club is probably my favorite to play,” Horseman said. “It’s not the longest but it’s a tight course. You have to hit the fairways because the rough is really hard to get it out of and the greens are really fast.”
This past spring, Horseman garnered a unanimous first team all-KCI Conference infield selection for his work at second base for the Bluejays, who finished third at state in Class 2.
When he was not playing second base, Horseman provided a solid second option on the mound for West Platte behind McKaulley Stephenson, a junior who earned Missouri Baseball Coaches Association all-state honors for a third straight year. Horseman compiled a 6-2 record with 59 strikeouts and a 1.39 ERA in 40 1/3 innings.
But after the baseball season, Horseman devotes his summer vacation time to further his career on the links.
The closest course to Horseman’s house is Shiloh Springs in Platte City, and he plays there often. On Tuesday, July 21 he recorded his first career hole-in one while practicing on the par-3 eighth hole. He used a 7-iron on the 183-yard hole to record the ace.
A cooperative agreement was explored between West Platte and Platte County — the only neighboring school district which offers a golf team — but the combined enrollment would have moved Platte County up to Class 4, the largest classification in the state.
Horseman ended up sticking with baseball.
“I enjoy playing baseball for the school,” he said. “I have one more year to play baseball. I’m not going to play baseball in college. I am hoping to play college golf though.”
Horseman has stayed busy since West Platte’s trip to the Missouri State Baseball Championships in O’Fallon, Mo.
Just five days after the rained-out third-place game which resulted in a split third-place trophy between the Bluejays and Norwood, Horseman played in the Western Missouri Optimist Club Qualifier. He shot a two-under 70 to take second place and qualify for the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships, scheduled for July 26-31 in Palm Gardens, Fla. at PGA National — a course that hosts the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic each year.
Another big event that offers another chance to set and meet goals in the hopes of continuing a burgeoning career in the sport.
“I’ve played golf since I was really little,” Horseman said. “It’s been really good to me. It teaches honesty and integrity. I really enjoy playing baseball, but golf is kind of my first love.”