You couldn’t have asked for a prettier morning as play got under way April 28 in the Suburban Conference Gold Division golf tournament. There was sunshine, a gentle breeze and the promise of perfect conditions for 18 holes.
It didn’t stay that way.
By the time the six teams completed their rounds at Adams Pointe Golf Club in Blue Springs, the gentle breeze and sunshine turned into a chilly north wind and dark clouds.
That could also describe the mood of the Lee’s Summit North team. After finishing third in the team standings with a 335 total – just 4 shots more than team champion Liberty and 1 more than second-place Blue Springs South – the Broncos didn’t exactly feel like celebrating.
“Our coach was pretty mad at us,” North senior Ian Mathewson said. “This tournament should have been ours. We didn’t do well as a team at all.”
Mathewson did his part, tying with teammate Keaton Black for second in medalist play with a 6-over par 78. Problem was, the next best scores the Broncos posted were an 89 by Cole Ashby and a 90 by Parker Davis.
“It wasn’t one of our better days,” North coach Kevin Harrison said. “It was a tough day for everybody, but we could’ve played a lot better than we played today.”
Harrison didn’t think the weather was the Broncos’ problem – they’ve played in plenty of chilly and windy days this season. He thought it was more a matter of it being the conference tournament and the pressure that goes with it.
“A lot of it’s nerves; this is always the first big tournament of the year,” Harrison said. “Hopefully, we’ve learned from it and we can play better next week at districts.”
Just like their team, Mathewson and Black both just missed claiming the top honors. Both finished a stroke behind the 77 posted by medalist Kyle Barbee of Blue Springs South.
“They’re both good players and never quite satisfied,” Harrison said. “Finishing second in the conference is good. We just needed somebody to back them up.”
Lee’s Summit finished fifth with a 356 total but Tigers coach Manning Williams was pleased with his team’s effort. Sean Gann led the way with an 87 that earned him 13th place and honorable mention all-conference honors. Freshman Jackson Eaton was also honorable mention with an 89, as was Michael Lakner, a junior who just started playing last year.
“I’m really happy for those three guys, Williams said. “They’ve all worked really hard at it.”
While Williams would have liked his Tigers to shoot lower, he realized everybody was struggling during the sunny to gloomy day.
“Obviously, it was a tough day today,” Williams said. “That was one of the highest if not the highest winning scores I’ve seen and I’ve been doing this 19 or 20 years.”
Lee’s Summit West won the team title at the Suburban Red Division tournament at Drumm Farm Golf Club in Independence. The Titans finished with a 312 total, with Park Hill South second at 327.
The Titans’ Kerry Maguire won medalist honors with a 5-over 77. Nelson Searcy and Blake Kobel tied for third at 78 while Robert McKee finished tied for fifth with a 79. J.T. Tranchilla’s 86 rounded out West’s team total.
“Our boys were focused and played well,” West golf coach Richard Myers said. “We put four scores together on the same day, which is the key to winning a tournament.”