HANNIBAL | Hannibal High School senior Preston Bennett signed a letter of intent to attend and play golf for Columbia College on Friday.
What led Bennett to this decision was the atmosphere and his affinity for the town of Columbia.
“I always wanted to play golf in college ever since I started playing my freshman year,” Bennett said. “I ended up being close to home. I thought it was the right place for me, a small college, but in a big town.”
Columbia College is part of the NAIA and play in the American Midwest Conference.
During his high school career at Hannibal, Bennett played golf, basketball and football. However, golf became Bennett's favorite sport.
“I actually started playing competitive golf my freshman year of high school,” Bennett said. “I still need to develop and have a long way to go. I was going to run track my freshman year, but my neighbor actually convinced me to play golf. After I started playing, I got addicted to it.”
Before becoming a Columbia Cougar, Bennett still has a spring golf season to play with Hannibal High School.
Hannibal boys golf head coach Jason Noland said he is looking forward to a great senior season from Bennett.
“Preston has been a great student-athlete and a leader for the Hannibal golf team,” Noland said. “He is constantly working on his game and his payoff was qualifying for the state tournament last year.”
Bennett is looking forward to Hannibal's golf season as well.
“I would like to win conference as a team and hopefully place first or second in districts as a team as well, so we can move on to sectionals,” Bennett said. “Just want to see everyone play and see what we can do from here.”
Bennett said his favorite part of his high school career has been playing in tournaments.
“My most memorable tournament would be at Moberly Heritage Hills, I always liked (that course),” Bennett said. “Pretty straight forward course with two different types of front and back. That's my favorite course after playing the conference tournament there last year.”
Family and friends have been supportive of Bennett's decision to sign with Columbia College.
“They support me,” Bennett said. “I have some friends that are going to go to Mizzou, so I will have some buddies down there. I just think this is the place for me.”