Pembroke Hill junior Preston Fleenor walked onto the golf course Tuesday morning feeling indebted to his teammates after they carried the load on the first day of the Missouri Class 3 state tournament.
His debt has been paid.
Fleenor shot 72, which tied the best final round score among all golfers Tuesday at Fremont Hills Country Club in Fremont Hills, Mo., paving the way for Pembroke Hill to win the Missouri Class 3 state championship for the second time in four seasons.
The Raiders shot a team total of 637, edging Logan-Rogersville and Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School by 3 strokes for the team title.
“I definitely owed it to them to try to come out and put a little more support on the team,” Fleenor said. “I knew that I played bad (Monday), but we were still in the lead. I had a lot of confidence if I turned it around, we would win.”
The top golfer for the Raiders this season, Fleenor played like it Monday. He climbed to seventh place on the leader board, eight shots behind co-winners Davis Palen of Logan-Rogersville and Brett Windsor of Boonville.
William Esrey (10th), Zach Cobb (27th), Charlie Hamilton (28th) and Jack Mitchell (50th) rounded out the Raiders’ lineup. Cobb and Mitchell led the team to an opening-day lead Monday, with Fleenor and Esrey posting atypical scores in the 80s.
“It came down to a five-man effort down the stretch,” Pembroke Hill coach Evan Scobie said. “Preston played fantastic. William Esrey played great, too. When we had those scores come in early and set the pace, it made everyone feel that much more relaxed.”
Barstow wins Class 2 title
Barstow won the Missouri Class 2 state golf championship for the first time in school history.
The Knights made their opening-day lead stand Tuesday, beating second-place Whitfield by 4 strokes at Silo Ridge Golf and Country Club in Bolivar, Mo.
For the second straight day, Barstow pulled away on the back nine. Sophomore Tripp Walsworth, who finished in 14th place, shot 2 over par on the back nine. Senior Thomas Dunn, who placed 21st, shot 1 over par on the final nine holes.
“I think the front nine put us in a precarious situation both days, but the second nine, the boys battled and hung with it,” Barstow coach Joe Taylor said. “That’s where we won it. It was just about trying to keep them relaxed, get them to slow down and take their time.”
Alec Adkins (25th), Cody Adkins (43rd) and Jonathan Butch (58th) completed Barstow’s lineup.
Lawson junior T.J. Pennington bounced back from a rough opening round to shoot 75 on Tuesday. With the third-best round among all golfers in Class 2, he climbed up the leader board and finished 11th.
Rockhurst third in Class 4
For only the third time in the past nine years, the Rockhurst Hawklets left the Missouri Class 4 state golf meet without the first-place trophy.
Rockhurst finished third at The Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau with a two-day total of 650. Rock Bridge posted a 640 to win the state title. Liberty finished sixth with a 668.
On a windy day in southeastern Missouri, no golfer played under par. Washington’s Brad Carpenter won the state title by six strokes after shooting 145.
Rockhurst’s Peter Dierks posted the best two-day score among local golfers. He followed his round of 76 on Monday with an 83 on Tuesday to finish in 11th place.
Liberty freshman Sam Parrott was 14th. Park Hill South senior Nick Sobba tied for the best score among all Class 4 golfers Tuesday with a 74 and climbed to 17th place for the tournament. Blue Springs South golfer Kyle Barbee was 19th. Lee’s Summit North’s Keaton Black finished 25th.