High School Sports

Five things to watch at Missouri high school boys golf state tournaments

Preston Fleenor, seen here competing in the 2014 Watson Challenge, is one of three Pembroke Hill High School golfers who coach Evan Scobie says has a chance of winning an individual state title.
Preston Fleenor, seen here competing in the 2014 Watson Challenge, is one of three Pembroke Hill High School golfers who coach Evan Scobie says has a chance of winning an individual state title. The Kansas City Star

The first state champions of the Missouri high school spring sports season will be crowned early next week, with four state golf meets scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

The Missouri Class 4 state tournament will take place at Sedalia Country Club; the Class 3 event is set for Silo Ridge Golf Club in Bolivar; the Class 2 tournament will be played at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield; and the Class 1 meet is set for Meadow Lakes Acres Country Club in New Bloomfield.

Here are five things to watch across the four 36-hole state tournaments:

1. Rock state

A discussion about the Missouri Class 4 state golf meet must start with the Rockhurst Hawklets.

Rockhurst has won 13 state championships in program history, six of them since 2005, and it has finished in the top-three in the team standings all but once since 2002.

That’s quite a run. And there’s no end in sight.

The Hawklets dominated the Missouri Class 4, Sectional 4 tournament on Monday, winning the tournament by 17 strokes. All five Hawklets — Greg Watkins, Peter Dierks, Luke Henke, Carter Tumminia and Robert Enright — finished among the top-10 on the leaderboard, too.

“It has been like this all season,” Rockhurst coach Mark Nusbaum said. “It seems like it’s a different kid each day that steps up.”

2. Raiders eye repeat

After cruising to district and sectional championships, Pembroke Hill is seeking its second straight Missouri Class 3 state title on Monday and Tuesday.

Pembroke Hill coach Evan Scobie says the team is actually better than it was last season — and the playoff results back up that statement.

Senior Preston Fleenor, the team’s No. 1 player in the lineup, won the sectional tournament Monday, a week after William Esrey fired a 3-under par to win districts. Charlie Hamilton finished in the top-five both weeks.

Asked if he had a player capable of bringing home the individual title, Scobie responded, “I think we have three.”

That’s not a bad formula for winning the team championship, too.

3. Barstow seeks history

Barstow claimed its first boys golf state championship in school history last spring.

If the first two weeks of the postseason are any indication, the encore may be just as sweet.

The Knights won the Class 2, District 7 tournament by 76 strokes and followed that with a 21-shot victory in the Class 2, Sectional 4 meet.

Alec Adkins and Tripp Walsworth finished atop the leaderboard at the two tournaments, and they’re contenders for Class 2 medalist honors, too.

4. Tight race in Class 4

While Rockhurst may provide the best chance for a Kansas City-area team to bring home the big-class team title, the individual race in Class 4 is much more in doubt.

Lee’s Summit West’s Kerry Maguire tied Watkins for the Class 4, Sectional 4 title on Monday, with Blue Springs South’s Kyle Barbee only 1 stroke back. Barbee finished 19th at last year’s state meet.

Park Hill South’s Tanner Owen could also charge up the leaderboard. He won a district championship two weeks ago.

Lee’s Summit North qualified its full lineup for the Class 4 meet.

5. Best of the rest

In addition to the contingent of Pembroke Hill golfers, the Class 3 leaderboard has the potential to be filled with Kansas City representation.

Kearney senior Pierce Moling, Smithville’s Jacob Majeske, Platte County’s Adam Muehlebach and Pleasant Hill’s Jeffery McKee and Justin Orpin are other area golfers who could be in the mix.

In Class 2, Lawson narrowly missed qualifying for the team competition, but a pair of its golfers — T.J. Pennington and Cody Glenn — could make some noise in the race for medalist honors. Pennington tied for 11th place last spring.

Orrick senior Tanner Werle qualified for the Class 1 tournament for the second straight season.

To reach Sam McDowell, call 816-234-4869 or send email to smcdowell@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @SamMcDowell11.