By Mark Schremmer
Globe Sports Writer
McAuley’s Chase Damer opened his first season on the golf team as the team’s fifth player. He will finish the season at the state meet.
“Chase is in his first year golfing, and he’s come a long way,” McAuley coach Brenden Gubera said. “He was our No. 5 when he started the year, and now he’s pushing No. 2 or No. 3. To come out for one year of golf and qualify for state, that’s quite a feat on his part. He’s put in the effort and the work to do it.”
Tipton (337) edged Drexel (338) by one stroke to win the team competition of the Class 1 sectional meet Monday at Schifferdecker Golf Course in Joplin. Tipton and Drexel qualified full teams to next week’s state meet at Silo Ridge Golf Club in Bolivar.
The 12 best individual scores not from Tipton or Drexel also qualified. Purdy’s Phillip Roller won the sectional with a 76. McAuley’s Connor Schlegel (84), Zach Crossland (86) and Damer (90) and College Heights’ Cole McAlester (87) were among the 12 individual qualifiers.
McAuley was third in the team standings with a four-man score of 353.
“We set a goal to qualify as a team, but we came out a few shots short,” Gubera said. “We had chances. We left a lot of putts on the greens today. You can’t do that.”
Still, the Warriors feel good about advancing three to state.
Schlegel, who recently signed to collegiate golf at Rogers State University in Claremore, Okla., returns to state after tying for 15th last season.
He said he wasn’t pleased with his 13-over-par effort on Monday but is glad he gets another chance at state. Schlegel shot a 44 on the front-nine at Schifferdecker but rebounded with a 40 and the final nine holes.
“I had a pretty rough round actually,” Schlegel said. “I started off pretty bad on the front, but I hung in there at the end.
“I live to fight another day. So I can shoot my low round at state. That’s all that matters.”
Crossland and Damer are first-time state qualifiers.
Ethan Koechner led Tipton with a 6-over 77, and Trevor Cooley led Drexel with an 80. Other individual qualifiers were Cole Camp’s Matthew VanHolten (80), Windsor’s Trevor Warlen (83), Cole Camp’s David Martin (84), Sacred Heart’s James Lucchesi (86), Crest Ridge’s Justin Evans (89), Cole Camp’s Karstan Luchini (89) and Stover’s Brock Nolting (89).
The state meet will be Monday and Tuesday at Bolivar.
“We’ll go up Sunday, play a practice round and see what happens,” Gubera said.