As Lafayette’s Max Kreikemeier turns his attention to soccer, the junior can look back and see he enjoyed a solid summer on the golf course.
Practice has begun for the soccer Lancers. Kreikemeier is a midfielder for coach Tim Walters.
So while Kreikemeier won’t put away his clubs, his focus will shift for now.
Kreikemeier played recently in the 42nd Boys Junior PGA Championship at The Country Club of St. Albans.
He just finished playing in the Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association’s Amateur Championship at Norwood Hills Country Club. That was his last tournament of the summer golfing season.
Kreikemeier did not make the cut in the PGA event but he did in the MAGA tourney, playing against much older amateur competition.
Kreikemeier finished his two rounds in the PGA Junior with a 6-over-150. He was 5-over 77 in the second round after opening with a 1-over 73 in the first round.
He was happy to be able to play in the big event at St. Albans. A total of 144 golfers competed in the tourney.
He sent in an application, which was an essay about himself why he would be the best representative for Missouri to play in the tournament.
“A committee then picked two people,” Kreikemeier said. “Originally, I did not get in through the committee but they had another spot so the committee picked me as the next player.
“I got there for the practice round and called my mom and told her it was the coolest thing I’ve ever been too. For sure, it’s the biggest tournament I’ve played in.”
Kreikemeier was familiar with the Lewis & Clark Course at St. Albans.
“The front 9 is Lafayette’s home course and two of my friends — Dylan Stovall and Colin Flowers — are members there,” Kreikemeier said. “I think it is a very good course and I really like it. It’s always in very good shape. I did not think it was set up too difficult.
“I just didn’t execute on easy holes. There are certainly holes where par is a great score but there were a lot where I thought they were very birdie-able.”
While he was pleased with his opening round of 73, Kreikemeier noted it could have been better.
“I was satisfied but I would say not happy because I was 2-under and lost it a little and went double then bogey and played even on the front 9,” Kreikemeier said. “I was happy to see I was in the cut number even after losing it on those two holes.”
However, the second round did not go as expected.
“I just didn’t play well on the front nine I started out with a bogey then lipped out for birdie on the next hole and just continued to not play well and got some bad breaks along with it,” Kreikemeier said.
So, he did not make the cut. Still, Kreikemeier learned he could hang with the best in the nation.
On the other hand, it also showed him there’s much work to be done to become an elite junior golfer.
“It was a great experience,” Kreikemeier said. “It was one of the best fields that junior golf sees. It shows I can compete with most of these guys when I’m playing well but (it) also shows I have a long way to go to be able to really contend with the top juniors in the country.”
Overall, it was a good summer for Kreikemeier.
“I played pretty well — a couple real bad rounds here and there but it happens,” Kreikemeier said.
Among his highlights this summer was winning the Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association’s Junior Amateur with a 151 on rounds of 73 and an eye-popping 68.
Kreikemeier finished in a tie for 10th at the Lockton AJGA with rounds of 74, 78 and 72. He also tied for second at the Junior PGA Gateway Section championship with rounds of 72 and 74.
He credits his swing coach with improving his play.
“I’ve been working really hard this summer on my game with Gideon Traub my coach and the work we’ve put into it all has been paying off,” said Kreikemeier.
Taub is the golf professional at Forest Hills Country Club.
Kreikemeier was pleased with his sophomore season playing golf for the Lancers in the spring.
“I was happy with how I played overall,” Kreikemeier said. “(I) contended in a lot of tournaments and had fun doing it.”
The Class 4 state tournament didn’t leave him satisfied. He finished tied for 11th with a 152 on identical rounds of 76.
“Wished I could have putted better that week,” Kreikemeier said. “I was hitting it well but couldn’t get anything rolling on the greens. I was very happy to see my good friend Joe Terschlues (of Chaminade) win and go out with a bang his senior year.”
Next spring, Kreikemeier has plans to play even better for the golfing Lancers.
“My junior year, the goal is just to get better in every aspect of the game,” Kreikemeier said. “Hopefully the team and I can contend for a state title.”