St. James Academy made its first appearance in a Class 5A boys golf regional a memorable one.
By CHARLES REDFIELD
Special to The Star
The Thunder had a score of 323 in winning the 5A regional Monday at Heritage Park Golf Course in Olathe.
The Thunder had two of the three players to have a score under 80 on the par-71 course.
Sophomore Jack Reilly and St. Thomas Aquinas sophomore Paul Angles tied for first with rounds of 78. Reilly grabbed medalist honors by winning the playoff on the first extra hole.
“This is my best score of the year,” he said. “I’ve had a bad year. Now I’m back to where I was last year.”
Reilly was the only Thunder golfer in 2012 to qualify for state, and he finished fifth at the 4A state tournament. And in both instances he shot a 78.
Angles was the Saints’ sixth golfer, and he was the last of the Aquinas golfers to finish his round. His round of 78 helped the Saints clinch third place in the team standings with a 337.
The top three teams qualify for state along with the top six individuals who are not members of a team that qualified for state.
“This is my best score of the year,” Angles said. “I was putting good today, and I was pleased today that I recovered on some holes by making putts.”
The Saints have made the state tournament in each of the school’s 25 years of existence.
BV Southwest, the host of the tournament, finished second with a score of 335, giving the school its third berth in the state tournament in the three years it has been open.
“Our season has been hectic,” coach Nathan Winslow said. “The kids have never been able to get into a groove because of the weather.
“I’m proud that we had four scores in the 80s. Getting second shows how hard the kids have worked.”
Leading the Timberwolves was junior Seth Haupt in fourth place with a score of 80.
“I drove the ball well,” he said. “I stayed in the fairways, and I putted well. I made a lot of putts to save par.”
His career best is a 79.
The only other golfer to shoot under 80 was St. James Academy senior Ben Markus with a 79. He was a freshman on the 2010 Thunder team that won the 4A state title.
Markus’ best score this year is 73, and his career best is 70.
“I never got anything going today,” he said. “I was hard to get any momentum.”
In 2012, the Thunder didn’t qualify as a team, and Markus didn’t qualify as an individual.
Third-year coach John Muehleberger said, “This is our first time in 5A, and this will give us confidence going into next week.”
Shawnee Mission South, in its first year in 5A, placed fourth in the team standings with a 347.
The 5A state tournament is May 20 at Brookridge Country Club, and St. Thomas Aquinas will be the host.