Even though he had to put through a water puddle to finish his tie-breaker in a surprise afternoon downpour, St. Thomas Aquinas’ Luke Henes was able to capture fifth place and lead the Saints to a fourth-place finish at the Kansas Class 5A state golf tournament on Tuesday at the Wichita Country Club.
“I was really happy,” Henes said. “I had a rough start. I was five over through seven and then finished one under on my last 11.”
Aquinas was tied with Wichita Bishop Carroll with 314 points after the initial scores, but when they turned to the fifth golfers on each team, the Saints lost by 1 stroke. In addition to Henes, who shot a 75, two other Saints medaled. Troy Hilderhof finished in a tie for 11th place with a 77 and James Pyle tied for 19th with a 79.
“This was the same group I had last year, and we finished fifth so we improved from last year,” coach Ryan Best said. “One shot here and one shot there, and we could have been second or at least third.”
Wichita Kapaun Mount Carmel won the team title with a score of 300, and Maize South followed with a 312. For the third straight season, the individual champion was Kapaun’s Sam Stevens, who shot a one-over par 72.
For the first time all season, Blue Valley Southwest had all six golfers finish under 90, which helped the Timberwolves to a seventh-place finish as a team. Seth Wingerter led the group with a 78, which tied for 16th, his best score of the season.
“At this point in the year, I think all the kids have finally got their games rounded out and polished off,” Timberwolves coach Nate Winslow said. “They played their best when they were supposed to.”
The top local finisher was St. James Academy’s Jack Reilly, who won a tiebreaker to finish third. He shot a 74 with a 35 on the front nine to lead the Thunder to an eighth-place finish.
“My iron game was really strong today. I hit a lot of greens, and I rolled in some puts early so I knew my putter was going to be on,” Reilly said. “My putter kept me in it today. My short game was stellar.”
Lansing’s Luke Russell shot a 76 and then won his tiebreaker for an eighth-place individual finish. Mill Valley had two medalists in Ben Hadden, who tied for 16th with a 78, and Jalen Oehlert, who tied for 19th place with a 79.
In class 4A, Bonner Springs’ Marc McClain shot a 69 which was three under par and won the individual Class 4A state title for the Braves who finished seventh. Tonganoxie’s Drew Sandburg finished second with an even 72 and Max Ernst of Bishop Miege rounded out the top five with a 74. Piper placed ninth as a team and was led by Alex Wuellner who finished seventh after a tiebreaker.
Kansas City Christian finished sixth in Class 3A with a team score of 349. The Panthers were led by Luke Streeter, who shot a 77, and placed seventh.
Heritage Christian Academy’s Parker Allen shot a 73 and placed fifth while guiding his school to a seventh-place finish in the school’s first Class 2A state tournament appearance.
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