By one stroke, the Borgia Knights captured the MSHSAA Class 3 state golf championship.
Playing Monday and Tuesday at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield, Borgia accumulated a team score of 609, edging second-place MICDS with 610 and third-place Westminster with 612.
“This probably was the most competitive state golf tournament I’ve been involved with,” said Borgia Head Coach Dave Neier. “The title was in doubt all the way to the final hole. That made it very intense. The kids were ecstatic when they found out the final results. We didn’t know until the scores were posted. It was great to see how the kids reacted. They were enthused and excited. You could see the joy on their faces. That made it fun.”
Borgia played consistent golf, shooting 304 on Monday and 305 on Tuesday. The Knights stood in third place, two strokes off the pace, following the first day.
“Talking with (Assistant Coach) Chip (Thompson), we really were glad to be in third after the first day,” Neier said. “The pressure was off. MICDS led and Westminster had beaten them twice this season. That put more pressure on those teams. You can see that in the big tournaments when someone has to sleep on the lead, it’s tough.”
Rounding out the Class 3 team standings were Logan-Rogersville (624), Cape Notre Dame (632), Kearney (632), Sikeston (651), Excelsior Springs (658), Bolivar (683) and Sullivan (698).
Leading the Knights on the par-72 course was Cameron Stahlman, who tied for fourth-place honors with rounds of 72-74-146.
Other Borgia players at the state tournament were:
• Bryce Dolan tied for 10th (73-75-148).
Dolan and Stahlman earned all-state honors.
“To be all-state, that’s a great honor for them,” Neier said. “That’s something they’ve worked on their whole lives since they were young kids. They had confidence going into the tournament they could shoot well.”
• Alex Buschman tied for 24th (77-78-155).
• Clayton Voss tied for 38th (82-78-160).
• Alex Rennick tied for 56th (84-80-164).
“Stahlman, Dolan and Buschman, the whole senior group, led the way,” Neier said. “They took turns winning medals at different tournaments throughout the season. We had great leadership from the seniors. Voss and Rennick played for themselves and the team. They conquered their nerves and shot well both days. It’s a great step for the future of Borgia golf.”
It’s Borgia’s second state golf championship in the school’s history. The Knights also won the state title in 1999. They were second in 1995 and 2000.
“You try to teach not only to play for yourself, but also for the team,” Neier said. “You have to forget about bad holes. You have to remember you can help the team out by minimizing bad holes. The kids all had bad holes, but they were able to pick themselves back up. They did a great job.”
Playing for Sullivan were:
• Drew Armstrong tied for 60th (83-84-167).
• Tylor Carrico tied for 74th (83-88-171).
• Justin Biermann tied for 85th (91-89-180).
• Ryan Juergens tied for 85th (93-87-180).
• Colton Philpot finished 90th (96-93-189).
Representing Pacific were Cullen VanLeer, who tied for 60th (86-81-167) and Brendan Jett-Kell, who was 89th (91-96-187).
“It was a great experience for Cullen and Brendan,” said Pacific Coach John VanLeer. “Cullen had some tough holes on the first day, but came back and had a really solid second round. Brendan also had some good holes. You never know when you’re going to get there, so I wanted them to enjoy the experience. We have everyone on the team coming back next year. If they keep working on their games, maybe we’ll be a better team.”
Warrenton’s Ethan Luecke finished 16th with 78-73-151.
In the Class 4 state tournament at Silo Ridge Golf & Country Club in Bolivar, Washington’s Brad Carpenter tied for third place, earning all-state honors with rounds of 72 and 73 for a 145 total, just one stroke over par.
“Brad did not have one blow-up hole. He kept calm when needed. He never had worse then a bogey,” said Washington Coach Tim Buschmann. “His iron play was consistent both rounds. Brad struggled some this year with putting, but putted well both days. I think the most important factor was the group Brad played with, all four had excellent rounds. That brought out the competitor in Brad.”
Colbey Schuster tied for 30th place with 81-77-158.
“Colbey’s goal was to shoot better than day one, which he accomplished with a final round 77,” Buschmann said. “Colbey was somewhat satisfied with his first state appearance. He knows what to prepare for next year.”
Rockhurst took the Class 4 team crown with 600.
Hermann finished sixth in Class 2 at Twin Oaks Country Club in Springfield with a team score of 682.
Whitfield claimed the Class 2 team title with 622.
Playing for the Bearcats were:
• Collin Hart tied for 29th (82-83-165).
• Austin Ruediger tied for 33rd (86-80-166).
• Ethan Kirchhofer tied for 49th (88-84-172).
• Mason Krull tied for 68th (92-87-179).
Missourian Sports Editor Bill Battle supplied some information for this story.