Wildcats to compete in 5A State Tournament

El Dorado's Cooper Henry chips a shot during a tournament earlier this season. The Wildcats will compete in the 5A Boys State Golf Tournament Monday in Alma.

El Dorado will compete in the 5A Boys Golf State Tournament on Monday at Eagle Crest in Alma. Van Buren will be the host school. The Wildcats had a practice round on Sunday, which was their first look at the course.

“The course will be a tough walk as the course is built on the side of the mountain,” said El Dorado coach Chris Ezell. “There are some significant elevation changes that are rather unique. One tee box has a drop over 100 feet down to the fairway. Last time I was there, the course had quite a bit of OB surrounding the boundaries.”

The Wildcats finished third in the 5A South Tournament behind Lakeside and Benton. Keaton Michael was medalist runner-up with a 73 while Payton Howard shot 75 to finish fourth. Cooper Henry (85), Michael Moore (90) and Caden Michaels (91) rounded out El Dorado’s scorers. 

“If we want to be in the mix, we will need four guys to step up and use good course management,” Ezell said. “We had several matches with different lineups this season that we rarely had what ended up being our top five together until the last week of the regular season. With it being a single-round tournament, anything can happen.

“This is not a course that our conference gets to play on, so that could provide some opportunities for other teams to contend. Our team score at conference would have won or tied for first in the other three conferences, so it could be an interesting day with several teams in contention.” 

Michael joined Lakeside’s Willy Gordon and Benton’s Paxton Lane to form a competitive group at conference. Ezell said the pairings will feature the same seeds from each conference so they won't see each other. Searcy's Luke Killough, Van Buren's JD Frederickson and Russellville's Noah Abington could factor into the individual race for medalist. 

Tee times will start on Monday morning will be 8:30 a.m.