Shawnee Mission East’s Andy Spencer was pretty sure his score was not good enough to capture a Kansas Class 6A state title on Tuesday.
As it turned out, he was partially right.
He shot a 69, which was 2 under par at Carey Golf Course in Hutchinson, Kan., and found himself in a first place tie with Blue Valley North’s Josh Pederson.
However, Spencer made quick work of the tiebreaker with a birdie on the first hole to emerge with the individual title and lead his Lancers to a third place finish.
“I got out of there quick,” Spencer said. “It was a good feeling.”
Spencer made the turn at 1-under with a pair of birdies on 13 and 14 and said he really got it going on the front with an eagle on number two.
“I knew it would probably get top five, but I didn’t know it would win,” Spencer said. “There were some really good players out here so I figured a 67 would win, but I’m glad 69 was able to do it.”
He finished the season two-under, which coach Ermanno Ritschl said was a program record. The junior won the three-round Sunflower League Tournament by seven strokes and finished third at his regional.
“He is blessed with some talent and a lot of hard work,” Ritschl said. “He is tenacious and has a good temperament for the game, which bodes well for him.”
Teammates Worth Blackman and Corey Knabe shot 76 and Brady Clark added a 77 for the Lancers, who were the defending state champions in Class 6A.
Washburn Rural was named team champion after a tie with BV North went to the fifth scorer. Pederson was joined in the top 10 by Justin Howard, who shot a 74 for ninth place. Jake Goldman shot a 75, Nick Kagy shot a 78 and Andy Fain had an 81.
“Going into today we figured Washburn Rural could run away with it based on their scores all season so we are happy with our showing,” Mustangs coach Pat Cowan said. “God knows we would have loved to have been first, but Josh Pederson shot one heck of a round today with a 69 and everyone made their contribution.”
Lawrence Free State’s Jack Flynn rounded out the top 10 after finishing third in a three-man playoff for eighth place. BV North’s Goldman, Olathe East’s David Gutgesell, SM Northwest’s Blake Allen, Olathe East’s Connor Churchill, SM East’s Knabe, and SM East’s Blackman, Lawrence’s Dawson Dykes and Gardner Edgerton’s Trystan Tovkach also earned state medals.
Class 4A postponed
The Class 4A meet at Turkey Creek Golf Course in McPherson was postponed until Wednesday and will begin at 8:30 a.m.
De Soto will be the only team from the metro-area competing along with individuals from Piper, Paola, and Louisburg.
Allen takes third in Class 2A
Competition down in Class 2A turned out to be almost as dramatic with Heritage Christian Academy’s Parker Allen taking third after a tiebreaker for second at 73.
“Everything was working well, really,” Allen said. “I was putting the ball off the tee in good spots, hitting the green and by doing that I was able to get up and down about 80 percent of the time.”
Allen said it was his lowest score of the season despite playing on a soggy Emporia Municipal Golf Course. He finished second in his league, sixth at regionals and won four tournaments.
The Streeter brothers, Nate and Luke, led Kansas City Christian to a runner up team placement by finishing right outside the top 10.
Nate finished with a 78, which was good for 11th place, and Luke followed right behind him with a 79 at Emporia Municipal Golf Course.