The Missouri high school golf sectional tournaments will take place Monday at various sites. The top two teams — along with the next best 15 individuals — from each sectional will qualify for the state tournament on May 19-20 at various sites.
1. The route to the Missouri Class 4 golf state championship usually runs through Rockhurst High School. This year should be no different.
The Hawklets have won six of the past eight state titles, and they took second place in the other two seasons. A year after settling for second place — Timberland edged the Hawklets by just two strokes last spring — Rockhurst is looking to regain the top spot.
They will be the favorites in the Class 4, Sectional 4 meet Monday after rolling to the Class 4, District 7 title last week. Once again, the Hawklets have a deep squad. Gregory Watkins won the district title Monday after shooting 1-over par, and his teammate, Peter Dierks placed second, two shots back. Andrew Knopke and Kevin Lane tied for fourth, with Luke Henke placing ninth.
2. When Pembroke Hill placed third in the Class 3 state championship meet last season, golfer Preston Fleenor vowed the team would come back stronger a year later.
He wasn't kidding. The Raiders are on their way to backing up their top player's promise. They cruised to the Class 3, District 8 title Monday at Excelsior Springs Golf Course by an astounding 39 strokes.
Fleenor, a junior, earned medalist honors, with fellow Raiders William Esrey and Charlie Hamilton taking second and third, respectively.
Pembroke Hill and St. Pius X both qualified their full teams for the Class 3, Sectional 4 meet.
3. Looking to qualify for the Missouri Class 2 state tournament for the third straight season, Barstow headlines a loaded Class 2, Sectional 4 meet Monday.
Barstow ran away with the Class 2, District 7 championship, besting second-place Butler by 49 strokes. Tripp Walsworth (second), Alec Adkins (third), Cody Adkins (fifth) and Thomas Dunn (sixth) posted the qualifying scores for the Knights.
Summit Christian Academy's Tim Cook won the district tournament and will be one of the individuals to watch at the sectional tournament, along with Lawson's Tanner Smith, who shot 2-under par to win the Class 2, District 8 tournament Monday.
4. A year after playing with the lead in the Missouri Class 4 state tournament before faltering down the stretch, Kearney senior Adam Lechner is taking a full head of steam into the sectional tournament as he tries to earn a chance at redemption.
Lechner won the Class 4, District 8 tournament last week — edging teammate Pierce Moling by one stroke — a week after earning medalist honors at the Suburban Blue Conference meet.
Park Hill South, Liberty, Rockhurst and Lee's Summit West will have their full teams participating in the Class 4, Sectional 4 tournament.
5. Here are a few other names to watch on sectional Monday: Lee's Summit North's Ian Mathewson, Blue Springs South's Ryan Drake, Park Hill South's Nicholas Sobba, Luke Becker and Tanner Owen and Liberty's Braden Coates, Garrett Wiesner, Wayne Baker and Sam Parrott are all capable of posting low scores in the Class 4, Sectional 4 meet.