Rock Bridge Golfers Follow Sundvold's Lead

8 years 6 months 4 days ago Tuesday, May 17 2011 May 17, 2011 Tuesday, May 17, 2011 6:43:00 PM CDT May 17, 2011 in Sports
By: Eric Blumberg

COLUMBIA - In sports, usually you have to climb the mountain to reach your goal but one high school golf team is following its leader on the final stages of its climb to the top.

Wilson Sundvold says ever since he could walk, he's played golf. He's won plenty of tournaments, but the one he wants the most is his next tournament.

In the Rock Bridge gymnasium high on the wall is banner of motivation.

"We have strength training every morning so we're running our laps and look at that banner and say we want to win one more of those," said Sundvold. 

Rock Bridge golfer Tyler Kolb said, "This is going to be our best shot at it." 

"It" is a state golf championship for Wilson Sundvold, Tyler Kolb, Will Echelmeier, Austin Evans and Warren Szewcyk. To win it, they'll have to follow the heart of Wilson Sundvold. He was born with a heart different than most.

"We were sent home with a healthy baby and after a week of having him home he started going downhill and we found ourselves at the University Hospital," said Tamara Sundvold, Wilson's mom.

Doctor's told the Sundvold's Wilson had serious heart condition.

"He had what was called a coarctation of the aortic artery. Which is a squeezing of the main aortic artery. His kidney's started to fail, and he was turning blue and he was going downhill very quickly," said Tamara.

Doctors fixed it but when Wilson was seven he needed another procedure on his heart.

Wilson said, "At the time I didn't know it was life and death, but looking back at it now I realize it was a little more serious."

"He did have open heart surgery and had that permanently repaired," said Tamara.

Sundvold finished sixth individually in the state last season. The team finished second, only four shots away from a state team title.

"I'm more concerned about the team title now," said Wilson. "The individual title is always nice to have, but the team title is the thing we're going to hang up in the Rock Bridge gym."

Rock Bridge has two previous team titles, one in 1979 and another in 1997.

Wilson says his yearly check-ups are done and his only reminder of the heart surgery is a small scar on his back.

Sundvold will play for Mizzou next season. His parents also went to Missouri and his dad, Jon, starred on the basketball team.

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