Midway through the high school boys golf spring season, something was bothering Shawnee Mission East junior Andy Spencer.
He was struggling with his putting game, so Spencer decided make a few adjustments.
That decision paid off in a big way, including Spencer being selected The Star’s All-Metro boys golfer of the year.
Spencer says the tweak to his putting game was instrumental in him going on to win the three-round Sunflower League tournament and a Kansas Class 6A state championship.
“Right after (that), I started making them. I was bringing my stroke average down and felt more confident with the putter,” Spencer said. “Everything was great.”
Spencer also was the recipient of the Kenneth Smith Award, which honors the top high school boys golfer in the Kansas City area based on excellence in performance, academic achievement, leadership and community service.
He finished the season two-under par, which broke an SM East school record set by Chase Hanna. Spencer finished with a 71.2 stroke average and had six rounds under par this season.
He has committed to play golf at Kansas, where Hanna will be his teammate. Spencer also calls Hanna one of his mentors.
“I knew that if I played to the best of my abilities, I could have a chance. Thankfully, I was able to do it,” Spencer said.
Looking ahead toward his senior season at SM East, Spencer hopes he can continue his upward trend and set a new school record for stroke average.
“I will try to improve on that stroke average, win as many tournaments as I can, get ready for college golf in Lawrence and try to get better every day,” Spencer said.
The Star’s All-Metro boys golf team
Alec Adkins, Barstow, senior. Adkins led Barstow to its second straight Missouri Class 2 state championship after he won his district, shared medalist honors at sectionals and placed fourth at the state tournament. He compiled a 74.6 scoring average and shot 38 or better at all but one nine-hole event.
William Esrey, Pembroke Hill, junior. The postseason stretch from Esrey helped the Raiders win their second straight state title. He shot 3-under par to win his district by three shots and tied for fifth place at the Missouri Class 3 state tournament. He also finished first at the Liberty Invitational.
James Henderson, Blue Valley West, senior. Henderson won the Eastern Kansas League tournament in dominant fashion — by 14 strokes. He also placed third at regionals and 11th at the Kansas Class 5A state tournament in Newton. He finished the season with a 75.55 stroke average.
Kerry Maguire, Lee’s Summit West, junior. Maguire, the first all-state golfer in school history, hit his stride during the postseason. After he placed second in his district (+2), Maguire tied for first in his sectional (+3) and then tied for second at the Missouri Class 4 state tournament with a two-day total of 144.
Eric Pahls, Piper, junior. Pahls won five out of the 10 tournaments in which he competed during the season and kept every round in the 70s. He thrived in the postseason, where he won his regional with a 72, then shot 70 and placed second in the Kansas Class 4A state tournament.
Andy Spencer, SM East, junior. Spencer, the Kansas Class 6A state champion, finished two-under par for the season. He finished the season with a 71.2 stroke average and won the three-round Sunflower League tournament. He also was the Kenneth Smith Award winner.