The longer the golf course, the more Park Hill South senior Tanner Owen likes his chances.
And thus a trip to the intimate Cardinal Hill Golf Course in Liberty on Tuesday provided some slight concern. It required Owen to use his irons on a bevy of tee shots, negating his ability to out-drive opponents.
He didn’t need it. Owen blistered the course anyway Tuesday, pulling away for a 6-shot victory at the Missouri Class 4, Sectional 4 meet, which serves as the state-qualifying tournament.
“I kept my head on straight and never got ahead of myself,” Owen said. “I think my preparation was the biggest part of my success today. I didn’t go attack the course. I hit the shots that came to me.”
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Owen carded a 2-under par 70. He will lead the pack of local Class 4 qualifiers into the state tournament, which takes place Monday and Tuesday at the Silo Ridge Golf and Country Club in Bolivar, Mo.
Owen, a Nebraska signee, placed sixth at last spring’s state tournament.
“It’s always great going into the next week with a win the week before,” Owen said. “I didn’t really do much wrong today, so I can spend the week just working to improve what went well. Whenever you get to that spot, where you’re working on strengths rather than weaknesses, that’s when you know you’re starting to get there.”
Liberty North golfers Tanner Collins and Caleb Davis tied for second at the sectional meet Tuesday, each of them posting scores of 4 over par. Five golfers tied for fourth — Rob Enright (Rockhurst), Gavin McDonald (Lee’s Summit North), James O’Connor (Lee’s Summit West) and Sam Parrott (Liberty).
Liberty North won the team title on its home course to claim its first sectional championship. Rockhurst placed second. Both schools will send their full five-man teams to the state tournament.
“I felt like we had a good chance to maybe get the team through (to state), but to win it, everybody is obviously just really excited,” Liberty North coach Jeff Braden said. “It’s a huge win for our program.”