Carthage’s Robbie Sager and three Joplin golfers had top-12 individual performances at the Class 4 Sectional 3 tournament at Schifferdecker Golf Course on Monday to earn a trip to the state tournament.
Rock Bridge (296) and Glendale (310) each qualified as a team, posting the top two scores as a unit. Joplin was in third with 322.
Sager had the strongest finish among local golfers, carding a 3-over-par 74 to finish in a tie for third on the individual leaderboard.
“He played really solid today,” Carthage coach Lowell Catron said. “He was consistent, kept it in play and did what he had to to move on.”
“I started off a little timid,” Sager said. “After a couple of holes, I found my groove. … I was making more putts than I have all season and it led to a good day.”
Sager returns to the state tournament after he birdied two holes, including a 25-foot putt for No. 12, finished with par on 11 holes and bogeyed five times on a soggy Monday.
“It’s nice to make back-to-back trips to state,” Sager said. “I am not going to worry about anyone else in my group and just play my game. Whatever happens, happens. I know I can play at a high caliber and beat some of these strong players.”
Joplin was led by sophomore Fielding Campbell’s 4-over-par 75, good enough for sixth overall. Campbell, who is making is second trip to the state tournament in as many years, opened his round with a birdie on the first hole and closed it out in even better fashion, chipping in for an eagle.
“This is an awesome feeling,” Campbell said. “I felt alright throughout the round. I didn’t putt particularly well, but that eagle on 18 really helped my score.
“I have been working all year towards this, but what makes it really special is I get to do it with a couple of my teammates, as well. It is going to be a lot of fun.”
“Fielding is a phenomenal little athlete,” Joplin coach Jack Pace said. “He is a good baseball player and an exceptional golfer. I am glad to see him competing at the level we know he is capable of.”
Chris Pryor and Alex Ramirez will be making their first trip to the state tournament as seniors, a sure-to-be memorable experience. Pryor and Ramirez each finished with a 9-over-par 80s.
“I am really happy Chris and Alex got to make it their senior year,” Pace said. “That is going to be special for them. I am looking forward to watching them compete.”
In a resurgent year for Joplin golf, the Eagles sent the most individual players to the state tournament aside from the schools that qualified as a team in the sectional round.
“I am hoping to see our three golfers go up there, compete, have fun and, hopefully, come home with medals,” Pace said. “This has been an incredible season for Joplin golf.”
The Class 4 state tournament will be played at Silo Ridge Country Club in Bolivar, Missouri, with the first round scheduled for Monday.