Over the first two weeks of the Missouri high school golf postseason, Pembroke Hill showcased a luxury that few other teams enjoy — one that led to district and sectional championships.
On Monday, that element transformed from a luxury to a necessity.
Pembroke Hill overcame a modest start and holds a 3-shot lead at the Missouri Class 3 state meet at Silo Ridge Golf and Country Club in Bolivar, Mo. The 36-hole event concludes with Tuesday’s second round.
Trying for a second straight Class 3 state title, Pembroke Hill compiled a team score of 315, 3 shots better than second-place Mary Institute and Country Day School.
“The ball just didn’t go in the hole. It was just one of those days,” Raiders coach Evan Scobie said. “But 3 shots ahead is a whole lot better than being 3 shots behind. The positive is I know these guys won’t relax. They’re certainly not satisfied.”
The first round Monday actually fell only 3 shots shy of the Raiders’ worst round of the season.
But so far, it’s good enough.
Junior William Esrey compiled the best round of the day for Pembroke Hill with a 4-over 76, which put him in eighth place and 5 shots behind Nevada’s John Quitno.
Kearney senior Pierce Moling also shot a 76.
Nicholas Klock (77), Charlie Hamilton (80), Preston Fleenor (82) and Jack Mitchell (85) rounded out Pembroke Hill’s five-player lineup. Fleenor, the team’s No. 1 player, finished seventh at state last year — despite a substandard opening round.
“There’s a lot of comfort in looking at the scoreboard and knowing they were in the same spot last year,” Scobie said. “Today, quite honestly, may not have been their day, but I’m confident that tomorrow will be.”
Class 2: Barstow leads by 5
The Barstow boys golf team won its first state title in program history last spring. The wait for a second one could be much shorter.
Barstow has a 5-shot lead over Blair Oaks in the Missouri Class 2 meet at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield.
Its top four placers — Alec Adkins (10th), Paul-Louis Robert (19th), Tripp Walsworth (20th) and Cody Adkins (22nd) — did enough to offset a brilliant round from Blair Oaks golfer Kory Franks, who shot a 5-under 67 and sits atop the leader board.
“We played really well,” Barstow coach Joe Taylor said. “They’re really focused on getting the job done. I think they’re just a lot more confident after what they did last year.”
For the third straight week, Adkins was the pacesetter.
Adkins won the district championship and tied Walsworth for the sectional crown, despite opening both rounds with a triple bogey.
He didn’t start well Monday, either — shooting 4 over on the front nine — but he bounced back and was 2 under over the back nine.
“That’s the difference between the Alec of this year and the Alec of old,” Taylor said. “He really understands that he’s good enough to make up for a couple of bad holes.”
Class 4: Up and down for Park Hill South’s Owen
The latest progression in Park Hill South junior Tanner Owen’s golf repertoire has very little to do with his swing mechanics.
Over the last few years, Owen says he’s concentrated more on the mental aspects of the game — most notably, an ability to brush off a bad shot or two.
That approach came in handy Monday.
Owen survived five blunders and sits in fifth place at 2-over 72 in the Missouri Class 4 tournament at Sedalia Country Club.
Owen bogeyed four holes and double-bogeyed another, but he offset that with four birdies. He trails first-place Dillon Eaton of Lafayette by only 3 shots.
“It was a roller-coaster ride,” Owens said. “But overall, I’m definitely satisfied with the round. I have full confidence that I can put up a good number (Tuesday), and wherever it falls, it falls.”
Lee’s Summit West’s Kerry Maguire is part of a three-way tie for 10th place after firing a 73.
As he and Owen attempt to climb up the Class 4 leader board, Rockhurst will attempt to make the same move up the team standings.
Aiming for their 14th state title, the Hawklets are in fourth place after a first-round team score of 307. They trail first-place Rock Bridge by 9 shots. Lee’s Summit North is eighth with a 335.
“We were hoping for a little bit lower, but while we’re disappointed, we’re still only about 2 strokes back per player, so we’re not out of it,” Rockhurst coach Mark Nusbaum said.
Peter Dierks and Carter Tumminia paced Rockhurst with rounds of 75.