Shawnee Mission East senior Chase Hanna ran his winning streak to four consecutive tournaments Monday during the Kansas Class 6A regional golf championship, which SM West was host of at Tomahawk Hills Golf Course in Shawnee.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
Hanna took a quadruple bogey on the par-5 first hole but played even par the rest of the round. He finished with a 4-over 74 and won the regional gold by 2 shots as the Lancers remained unbeaten against Kansas competition this season.
“I hit it well right off the tee, and the rough’s real nasty out here,” Hanna said of the first-hole disaster. “I did a poor job getting it out. I just don’t think I was ready to go from the get-go, but it kind of woke me up.”
Drawing on a similar experience at Alvamar Golf Club in Lawrence as a junior, Hanna didn’t let the early struggles linger.
“He’s done that before,” SM East coach Ermanno Ritschl said. “He had a quad at Alvamar on the first hole and still shot a 70 last year, so he has that experience in the bank. I think he used that and pulled everything together the last 17 holes.”
The Lancers, who edged BV North 309-313, have won eight consecutive tournaments. Hanna has five individual golds and three runner-up finishes in that stretch, including a second-place finish at the Topeka West Invitational after tying for the low round and losing on a scorecard playoff to freshman teammate Andy Spencer.
Speaking of Spencer, he finished third after losing a one-hole playoff with Blue Valley North senior Alex Higgs. Both golfers shot 76.
Meanwhile, SM East senior Connor Knabe finished fifth (78), and senior Evan Bloom tied for 13th (81), rounding out the squad’s scorers in a four-point win over Higgs’ Mustangs.
BV North is the reigning Class 6A champion and isn’t ready to concede the crown to the Lancers just yet.
“We didn’t do so well at Alvamar (during last week’s Lawrence Invitational),” Higgs said. “We struggled there, but we held on to win EKL and did what we needed to do here. The real tournament starts on Monday.”
In addition to Higgs’ second-place finish, freshman Jake Goldman placed fourth (77), while junior Evan Shartzer and sophomore Andy Fain tied for 10th (80).
Senior Nick Cooper tied for 13th (81) as BV North proved it can play with SM East.
“Four shots is one hole,” Higgs said “We don’t mind them (SM East) getting talked about. We’re just doing our thing under the radar.”
With a third-place finish, BV West also qualified for state as a team behind four medalists — senior Gabe Millikan, who was sixth (79); senior Chad Carlson, who was eighth (80); sophomore James Henderson, who took ninth (80); and senior Josh Barker, who tied for 10th (80).
Fourth-place SM Northwest didn’t make state as a team, but the Cougars did qualify three individuals — sophomore Mitchell Bolton (81), senior Garret Allen (83) and freshman Blake Allen (83).
Blue Valley senior Tom Boylan and BV Northwest senior Chris Hammond (83) also snagged individual spots in the state field for the Class 6A tourney next Monday at Meadowbrook Country Club in Prairie Village.
To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.