The game of golf has big and exciting things in store for Hunter Ostrom.
But before the Bishop Kelly senior moves on to play at Notre Dame — and potentially beyond — he has unfinished business to settle at the 4A state tournament.
Ostrom is trying to punctuate his stellar prep career with a third championship. He’s also gunning for his first team title as the Knights compete at Falcon Crest Golf Club.
And while Monday’s opening round brought windy conditions and higher-than-expected scores, both goals remain in reach as Ostrom tees off Tuesday for his final round in a Bishop Kelly uniform.
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“I didn’t have my best day, for sure,” said Ostrom, who fired a 1-over 73. “But I just kept grinding. I’ve got a lot of confidence in my game. I’ve been in this position before, and I know things can turn on for me at any time.”
Ostrom is tied for third and sits four strokes off the lead, trailing Twin Falls golfers Preston Nelson (69) and Daniel Gaspar (72). Ostrom was in a similar position last year, when he rallied from fourth place to win the title with a 3-under 69. And he mounted another comeback to win his third District Three championship this spring, shaking off a slow start to shoot 5-under on the back nine.
“I expect a big round out of him (Tuesday),” Bishop Kelly coach Vince Derig said. “He typically plays better on the second day — he’s a very special player and a great competitor.”
Derig’s five-man squad has some work to do in order to chase down Twin Falls in the team race; the Knights (303) trail the Bruins (290) by 13 strokes.
But BK improved its second-day score by 23 shots last season, and the Knights believe they can give their rivals another run.
“We’ve finished second behind Twin Falls all three years I’ve been here,” Ostrom said. “And I really want to put a (team state championship) banner up by the end of my high school career.”
Ostrom, whose golf bag is punctuated by Notre Dame club covers, said he’s excited to play for the Fighting Irish this fall. His focus for now is on helping his team win that elusive banner, but the magnitude of an Idaho golfer making the trip to South Bend isn’t lost on his coach.
“It’s very special, and it means a lot to a lot of people at Bishop Kelly,” Derig said. “Playing at Notre Dame is an honor, and it says a lot about his dedication to both the game and the classroom, because they don’t let just anybody in there.”