Not much was expected from Lee’s Summit West when the boys golf season got under way. The Titans had some experienced players, but they didn’t accomplish much the year before.
The Titans have accomplished plenty now.
One week after dominating the Suburban Conference Red division meet, Lee’s Summit West put together another solid outing and placed second in the Class 4 District 7 meet May 5 at Drumm Farm Golf Club in Independence.
West finished with a 316 team total, a distant second to powerhouse Rockhurst’s 302 but still good enough to advance as a team to the sectional tournament next week. The top two teams and 15 individuals not on the qualifying teams move on to sectional play.
“I’m pleasantly surprised with how we’ve played,” West golf coach Richard Myers said. “I knew we had potential and that potential is starting to come out.”
That potential showed in Kerry Maguire and Robert McKee, who both shot 6-over par 78s for the Titans’ top scores. Blake Kobel and J.T. Tranchilla both shot 80s to round out the Titans’ score, and Nelson Searcy had an 81.
“Robert played really well and Kerry played really well,” Myers said. “And the kids supported them with some very good scores, so were very happy. Finishing second to Rockhurst is really good for us.”
McKee was especially happy with his round. After struggling to a 7-over 43 on the first nine, McKee came back to card a 1-under 35 on the back nine. He started that nine with birdies on three of the first four holes.
“Basically, after nine I talked to my coach and I said, ‘Hey coach, I want to win. I’m not trying to play to pass through, I want to win.’” McKee said. “That’s what our coach taught us this year.”
Lee’s Summit North finished third in the team standings, just 5 strokes behind the Titans at 321. Although the Broncos missed out being a team qualifier, they still got all five of their players through.
“It’s a little disappointing but we’re not upset,” North senior Ian Mathewson said. “We’re all still going, so it’s still good.”
Mathewson shot a 4-over 76 for the Broncos’ best round, which placed him third overall and only 3 strokes behind medalist Gregory Watkins of Rockhurst. Mathewson had a 1-over 36 after the first nine, but ran into some trouble at the start of the back nine, right about the time his mom and dad started following him on the course.
“I don’t want to try to blame it on my parents, but … They watched me play three holes and those were the three holes where I went bogey, bogey, bogey,” Mathewson said. “I said, ‘You probably need to go.’”
Keaton Black and Parker Davis will join Mathewson at sectionals after shooting 80s. Cole Ashby had an 85 and Trey DeRousse also qualified with an 88.
Lee’s Summit, which finished eighth in the 10-team field at 365, qualified Mason Grounds for sectionals with an 84. Michael Lakner came within a stroke of advancing with an 89.
The sectional tournament will be May 12 at Winterstone Golf Course in Independence. For West, it will be another opportunity to add on to what has already been an accomplished season.
“Our team has come a long way from the beginning of the year,” McKee said. “Nobody thought Lee’s Summit West would be the caliber of a team that we are this year, and we’ve happily proved them wrong.”