Rock Bridge wins sectional, Glendale heads back to state

By Brennan Stebbins (For OzarksSportsZone.com)

JOPLIN, Mo. – A week after Glendale won the district tournament by four strokes, Columbia Rock Bridge returned the favor on Monday in Joplin.

Rock Bridge turned in a team score of 296 to win the Class 4 Sectional 3 golf tournament at Schifferdecker Golf Course, besting Glendale by 14 strokes.

That snapped a three-year streak of sectional championships for the Falcons, who also won state in 2016. With the top two teams qualifying for state, second place wasn’t a bad consolation prize.

“We managed to get past Rock Bridge last week and they got the best of us today,” Glendale coach Chris Obert said. “To shoot 296 was fantastic. We had a few hiccups out there on the golf course today from a few of our guys but it’s all good and we’ll be looking forward to going to Bolivar next week.”

Rock Bridge was led by Sean Minor, who shot a 1-under-par 70 to lead all golfers. Keith Schaezler tied for third with a 74, Ryan Choe and Chase Knorr tied for seventh at 76 and William Hose tied for 13th at 79.

Glendale, which scored 310, was led by Luke Ogden’s 76 that put him in a three-way tie for seventh. Dawson Meek shot 77 to tie for 10th, Adam Floyd shot 78 to finish 12th, Conner Obert shot 79 to tie for 13th and Jonathon Dixon shot 82 to tie for 19th.

“We had some pretty good play out of our five man today, he’s making a comeback,” Obert said of Dixon. “He had a rough front nine with a 45 and then shoots 37 on the back, two over, so hopefully he’ll make a little bit of an impact next week as we move into state. The top three guys did okay. They could have played a lot better than what they did. I know they probably shot about four or five shots higher than what they would have liked to out here on this golf course.”

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Each of the Falcons but Floyd, a freshman, has been to state before. Meek finished third in the Class 4 championship last year. Obert tied for 40th, Dixon tied for 56th and Ogdon finished 85th.

As for the rest of the field, the top 12 golfers not on a qualifying team also earned a trip to state. Joplin led all schools with three qualifiers in Fielding Campbell, Chris Pryor and Alex Ramirez.

Campbell earned sixth overall with a 75. Pryor and Ramirez tied for 16th at 80. They helped the Eagles to a third-place finish in the team standings at 322.

“It was great news,” Joplin coach Jack Pace said. “Especially on one of our home courses; we play here and Twin (Hills). I’ll take it. We came in against a couple buzzsaws there, 296 and 310. The 322 is our best round of the year.”

Campbell is the only one of the three who played at state last year. He finished 74th. Pryor and Ramirez, both seniors, are making their first trip.

Lebanon, with scored 332 as a team, qualified two golfers for state. Cooper Hess tied for third at 74 and Tryn Titus tied for 10th at 77. Hess was 55th at state last year, and Titus was 49th.

Willard’s Greg Mitchals will be the lone state golfer for the Tigers. He shot 72 to finish second overall on Monday. He tied for 34th at state last year.

Nixa was led by Cole Eagleburger’s 82, which tied him for 19th and earned him a state bid. Carthage’s Robert Sager qualified with a 74, which tied for third. Kickapoo’s John Snider shot 82 to tie for 19th and qualify. Republic’s Griffin Frey shot 82 to tie for 19th and qualify. Ray-Pec’s Chase Martel shot 81 to take 18th and qualify. Jefferson City’s Michael DAvidson’ shot 79 to tie for 13th and qualify.