Marshfield, Mo. (OzarksSportsZone.com) -- Playing on his familiar hometown course, Marshfield senior Clayton Moles was feeling confident. He ended his round even more upbeat about his chances at the upcoming Class 3 state tournament.
Moles shot an even-par 70 to place first overall in the Class 3, Sectional 3 tournament at Marshfield Country Club on Monday afternoon.
“I played very well, even though I left a lot of shots out there that I probably should’ve taken advantage of,” Moles said. “But overall, I came out here and did what I needed to do and that’s advance on.”
Sullivan and West Plains were the team qualifiers from the sectional. For the Zizzers, it’s their first time qualifying for state as a team since 2006.
“We drive together and we talk on the way home,” said West Plains coach Seth Huddleston. “The thing we talk about is, ‘If we play to our potential, we’ve got a really good chance.’ We survived again today. There’s some lower numbers in our kids. I know they can shoot lower numbers. We just have to get it out of them at the right time.”
Moles, now a four-time state qualifier, said he could’ve had a sub-70 finish.
“I lipped a putt hard on the last hole to shoot 69,” he said. “I just come out here and make two birdies and two bogeys, it’s a pretty solid round overall.”
Moles tied for 20th at state in 2012 (Rivercut), a year after tying for 10th as a sophomore (Silo Ridge).
With one last trip to state, Moles seems focused on winning the whole thing this time around.
“I wanna win,” Moles said. “That’s just how I am. If I don’t win, I’m not going to be happy. I know I can do it with the way I’m playing right now. I just gotta make putts, keep a level head, and I should come close.”
Moles’ teammate, Tyler Aldridge, tied with Rogersville’s Alec Palen for second place individually.
Miserable weather slowly turned to sunshine and clear skies as the action progressed.
“Early, it was so cold,” Huddleston said. “It was cold, and wet, and rainy. All the boys here did a wonderful of just making it this far. But persevering the first two hours of today, it was tough. It really was. The course turned out to play alright, it was a little bit wet, but it was fine.”
Aurora qualified three golfers for state: Jordan Fronabarger, Josh Fronabarger and Grant Seifried.
The top two teams and top 15 individual finishers from non-qualifying teams Monday advance to the Class 3 state tournament May 13-14 in Sedalia.
The schedule has been set for the 2013 Blue and Gold Tournament, held Dec. 26-30 on the campus of Missouri State University.
Here are some initial thoughts on the matchups to watch and how the bracket will play out.
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