The Carthage boys golf team finished fifth overall in Monday’s district tournament at the Carthage Golf Course, while three individuals qualified to compete in the sectional tournament May 2.
Nixa’s team score of 314 was good for first place in the district. Kickapoo followed at 319, Glendale shot a 328, Joplin finished fourth at 329 and the Tigers scored 330.
It was a disappointing finish for Carthage, which led the field with a team score of 150 after the front nine holes.
“That’s probably the best nine hole team score we’ve had in five or six years,” Carthage head coach Lowell Catron said. “That’s a really good nine hole score, and we were leading the tournament after the front nine.”
But the Tigers shot 180 on the back nine, a part of the course that is traditionally a strength for the home team.
“That is probably the worst score I can think of on nine holes we’ve had in I don’t know how many years,” Catron said. “A 30-shot turnaround. I don’t ever remember anything like that happening.
“The back nine at Carthage is a great nine holes,” he added. “It’s a shot-maker’s course. Back when there were only nine holes, I bet we went 15 or 20 years without ever losing a match on the back side just because when the other teams came to Carthage they shot terrible on the back side. What should have been an advantage for us turned out to be something that cost us the district tournament.”
Garrett Roberts tied for second overall with a 76, which led Carthage. Tres Wright tied for ninth after shooting an 80, and Kole Borland finished with an 84. All scores 86 and below qualify for the sectional tournament.
Austin Bunnell added a 90 for the Tigers, and Mackenzie Smart shot a 95.
Joplin’s Nick Yuhas led the field with a 75, and Glendale’s Taylor Hurd tied with Roberts. Nixa’s Jeremy Liss posted a 77, and Nixa’s Parker Eckerson and Kickapoo’s Palmer Harrison each shot a 78 to tie for fifth.
“Garrett had a real good round,” Catron said. “He shot one over par on the front and he was our bets score on the back with a 40, which was probably in the top five scores on the back side overall. He had a really consistent round. He had three birdies on the front side, which always helps. You could just tell today as I watched him that he was playing with a lot of confidence.”
Wright shot a 37 on the front, and a 43 on the back.
“I know Tres was disappointed with the back side,” Catron said. “He could have done a few shots better on that. Kole started on the back and had a tough time getting started. He shot a 44 on the back. One thing I’m proud of Kole for is he kept it together. He kind of dug down deep and played better on the front, shooting a 40.”
The trio of seniors now await the May 2 sectional tournament at Millwood Country Club in Springfield.
“When it really comes down to it, district and sectional tournaments are just survival tournaments,” Catron said. “Survive and move on. We always like to go as a team, so I’m kind of disappointed for Austin and Mackenzie, but hopefully they’ll learn from that and next year when they come back we’ll be stronger because of it.”
The top 15 individuals qualify as All-District performers.