The lightning came in the morning and the thunder in the afternoon at the Class 5A state boys golf tournament Monday at Brookridge Golf and Fitness Club in Overland Park.
By CHARLES REDFIELD
Special to The Star
The lightning cleared the course about 9:35 and kept the golfers off the course for 44 minutes.
The thunder came in the afternoon in the form of the St. James Academy Thunder on the back nine.
“If you asked me after the first nine if we would be this close, I would have said no,” Thunder coach John Muehlberger said. “We chose the right time to play our best golf.”
It was not enough to win the tournament.
Wichita Kapaun won its 29th state title and second straight with a team score of 303, but the Thunder came in second at 309. This is the first year the school has been in 5A.
“I’m extremely excited about how the boys played,” Muehlberger said. “This is our best score of the season. The back nine was very good for us.”
The difference between the teams may have been Crusader junior Sam Stevens. He shot a 4-under 67, winning medalist honors. He was also the medalist in 2012.
It was the play of two sophomores and a senior that propelled the Thunder to the high finish.
Both sophomore Jack Reilly and senior Ben Markus shot a 1-under 35 on the back nine that got the Thunder back into contention for the first-place trophy.
Reilly had a round of 74, losing in a playoff with Wichita Kapaun sophomore Jared Burns for third place.
“This was my best round of the year,” Reilly said.
What was the difference on the back nine?
“I made putts,” he said. “I had better shots from the tees.
“I started a little nervous, but I got it together in the back nine.”
Thunder senior Markus had a 76 and lost in a playoff for sixth place to senior Dax Shaw of Arkansas City.
“I was a lot more patient on the back nine,” Markus said. “We have come a long way this season (as a team). This is a good way to start in 5A.”
Markus will play golf for Texas-Pan American next year.
Sophomore Cole Stelzer shot a 77 and lost in a playoff for eighth place to Mill Valley sophomore Jack Casburn.
Maize South finished third in the team standings with a 315.
Blue Valley Southwest had its best finish at state in the school’s three-year history with the Timberwolves’ fourth place finish with a 319.
“We exceeded expectations,” Coach Nate Winslow said. “We were pretty consistent today.
“If we knew we would be fourth before the day, we would have been satisfied.”
BV Southwest sophomore Sam Detinger finished in a tie for 14th with a 79.
Timberwolves sophomore Alex Ghekas and juniors Seth Haupt and Jake Lassman shot an 80 and tied for 18th place.
Host St. Thomas Aquinas finished fifth with a 323.
Junior Austin Kruse tied for 11th place with a 78.
Mill Valley tied with Hays for eighth place in the team standings with a 331.