Central's Connell finishes sixth in Class 4 golf tournament

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

St. Vincent's Levi Gotto and Saxony's Collin Sprandel also earned all-state honors in golf

Central senior Corey Connell shot a 4-over-par 76 and tied for sixth place at the Class 4 golf championships at Silo Ridge Golf and Country Club.

Connell shot a 70 in the first round and started Tuesday with a one-shot lead over three golfers, which included eventual winner Jason Huska of Rockhurst.

"I'm not upset with where I finished today," Connell said. "I just wish a few more putts would have fell in today."

Connell shot even par through his first 10 holes and was two ahead of Ben Crancer of Kirkwood, who will play golf at Texas A&M next season, and three ahead of Huska before a bogey on No. 11.

The three players were tied after 12 holes.

Connell then missed par-saving putts on Nos. 14, 16 and 17.

"I missed a couple putts that should have went in," Connell said. "I hit the ball probably better than I did yesterday. I just didn't make a lot of putts."

Huska matched Connell's first-day 70 and posted a three-shot win over Crancer, who also was one shot behind Connell at the start of the day. Huska's two-day total of 141 also helped Rockhurst to the team title.

Three players tied for third at 145, while Connell was among three players at 146.

"He was one stroke away from having the best finish we've ever had," Central coach Dick Wadlington said. "That's an outstanding tournament."

The finish gave Connell all-state status for the first time in his three trips to the state tournament. The top 15 players are awareded all-state, and Connell's previous best was a tie for 27th his junior year.

Jackson freshman Eli Pike followed his first-round 78 with an 81 for a 159 total that tied for 34th.

Poplar Bluff senior Carr Vernon gained all-state honors by tying for 14th with rounds of 77-75--152. The Mules finished third in the team standings.

Notre Dame finished fifth among the 10 teams at the Class 3 tournament at Rivercut Golf Club in Bolivar, Mo.

Sophomore Brady Dixon led the way for the Bulldogs with a two-day total of 152, which tied for 17th place, two shots short of 15th place and all-state distinction.

Dixon entered the second day tied for third after an even-par 72 left him two shots behind leader Gordon Hamilton. Dixon shot an 80 in the second round and finished 12 strokes behind eventual winner Dylan Bekemeier of Republic, who shot a tournament-low 68 for a five-stroke victory. Dixon was tied with Bekemeier at the start of the day. Hamilton faded to a tie for fourth with a 76 on Tuesday.

Senior Jake Seabaugh had the low round for Notre Dame on Tuesday with a 73, and his two-day total of 156 left him in a tie with Dixon for 17th. The Bulldogs' other three golfers at the meet were Tyler Arpin (80-85--165, t-58th), Gunnar Knudtson (85-80--165, t-58th) and Cody Cox (84-84--68, t-68th).

Notre Dame finished with a 632 total to finish 23 shots behind Class 3 champion St. Francis Borgia (609), which edged runner-up MICDS by one stroke.

Saxony Lutheran junior Collin Sprandel gained all-state honors in the Class 2 meet at Twin Oaks Country Club in Springfield, Mo.

Sprandel had rounds of 76 and 84 to finish with a 160 total that tied for 15th place.

First-round co-leader Mitchell Rutledge of Whitfield (71-70--141) won the individual title by six strokes and helped his school to a 26-shot victory in the team competition.

St. Vincent (705) placed seventh in the nine-team field at the Class 1 meet at Fremont Hills Country Club in Nixa, Mo. First-round leader Sacred Heart, led by individual champion John Beykirch (79-74--153), took a 15-shot lead into the second round and outdistanced runner-up Drexel by 19 shots.

Levi Gotto led the St. Vincent with an all-state finish. His rounds of 84 and 83 left him tied for 15th at 167. Sean Martin (91-87--178, t-39th), Kelly Welker (88-90--178, t-39th), Tim Schumer (91-91--182, t-53rd) and Zac Heberlie (116-93--209, 88th) also competed for the Indians.

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