CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — As strange as it sounds, a bogey on the first hole helped set the stage for Jordan Burks.
“I was three or feet away for par and lipped it out,” he said. “That honestly kind of set me up. I didn’t have to worry about a bogey-free round. Being five back from Erin (Campbell), I knew I had to make birdies.”
And he did, rolling in six birdies during the final 13 holes at Briarbrook Golf Course en route to a 3-under-par 69 and the Junior Division title in the Joplin Area Golf Championships, sponsored by the Joplin Golf Foundation and the Globe.
Burks, a Carl Junction resident and member of the Carthage Men’s Golf Association, posted a two-day total of 4-under-par 139 after a first-round 70 on Saturday at Schifferdecker Municipal Golf Course.
Campbell, the first-day leader after a 66, closed with a 76 and finished second at 142. Taylor Lansford, who won the Ozark Amateur two weeks ago at Schifferdecker, took third with 73-143.
Mark Bruder was fourth with 77-145, a shot in front of two-time defending champion and six-time overall winner Kyle Long (75-146). Completing the top 10 were Dustin Edge 74-148, Alex Curchin 767-149, Tug Baker 76-149, Aaron Borland 77-150 and Andy Pochik 76-152.
Matt Otey won A Flight with 74-156, followed by Phillip Roller 80-158 and Chris Moudy 79-159.
Burks’ putting — just 11 putts on the front nine and 26 for the round — paved the way for his comeback victory. After one-putting to save par on the third, fourth and fifth holes, he nailed a 30-footer for birdie on the par-4 sixth hole to ignite his round.
“That got me going a little bit,” he said. “I had an easy tap-in on 7 for birdie, a good two-putt on 8 for par and then I made a 25-footer on 9 for birdie to get back to even (with Campbell for a share of the lead).”
His momentum heading to the back nine stopped momentarily when he double-bogeyed the par-4 10th hole from the fairway. After a par on the 11th hole, Burks grabbed the lead for the first time with three birdies during the next four holes — a 10-footer on 12, two putts on the par-5 13th and a 15-footer on 15.
“That was a good putt on 15, a hard breaker to the left,” he said. “With the exception of (No.) 1, my putting was just phenomenal. I was talking to Erin Campbell about it ... ‘dude, that’s the best round of putting I’ve had.’ Especially after yesterday, I made a couple of putts starting out and did not make any coming in. That’s a course I light up a lot, and for it to come out just 1-under, it was kind of a bummer.
“But I knew I was going to get a good challenge today with Campbell being 4-up on me. He didn’t play good, and I hate seeing that. He’s my buddy; we play at Carthage. I played the round I needed to today. ... I’m just stoked to get the win.”
Campbell recorded seven birdies — five in the first seven holes — plus an eagle on the par-4 10th hole on Saturday at Schifferdecker. But on Sunday his only birdie came on the fifth hole to go along with three bogeys and a double-bogey.
Burks and Edge are co-captains for the Horton Smith team that will play Springfield on Aug. 17-18 at Rivercut and Bill and Payne Stewart golf courses.
Carthage won the battle for team honors with a 1-over-par 217, determined by the three lowest scores in each round. Twin Hills was next with 225, followed by Briarbrook 241 and Schifferdecker 262.
Horton Smith team
Joplin’s Horton Smith team that will play its annual cup matches against Springfield on Aug. 17-18 at Rivercut and Bill and Payne Stewart golf courses:
Jordan Burks (captain), Erin Campbell, Dustin Edge (co-captain), Taylor Lansford, Tug Baker, Aaron Borland, Alex Curchin, Andy Pochik,Shawn Delmez, Dustin Gaddis, Matt Otey, Phillip Roller, Chris Moudy, Maron Towse, Derrick Ashe.
Note: One more player will be named to the team.