Huge 64-strokes improvement in team score from a year ago in Cameron Tournament

CAMERON, Mo. — Chillicothe (Mo.) HS’ golf Hornets flashed their best collective form in a couple of years Wednesday, April 10, at the 2019 Cameron Invitational Tournament. Now, the task will be consistently repeating that upgrade.
Getting sub-100 scores for 18 holes from four of their five players, the Hornets posted a low-4 team total of 382 in the event on the Cameron Veterans Memorial Golf Course, a shocking 64-strokes drop from their team score a year ago, when they even had a 3-times state-tournament qualifier in their ranks.
“Yes, 382 is not a great score,” Jim Wheeler, Chillicothe head coach, acknowledged, “but it does show how far some of these guys have come.
“Even though we still have a long way to go, I was very pleased with my team's approach to their rounds today. They went in with a game plan on how to adjust to playing when it's super windy, and we have practiced that.”
Although the Hornets’ composite improvement was immense, it was not enough to put them in the top three in the team standings nor did any of the individuals post a round that was among the tourney’s 10 best.
Leading Chillicothe for a third time in four 2019 outings to date was sophomore Colby Gillespie with a 93, but this time he was joined at the top of the Hornets’ heap by classmate Spencer Shira. Shira’s practice play has earned him the top spot in the team’s lineup thus far, but his previous best score in competition had been the equivalent of a 108, so Wednesday’s play figures to boost his confidence on match days.
Not far back of that duo were C.J. Williams with a 97 and, in his second varsity appearance, freshman Gage Leamer with a 99.
While Shira shot 20 strokes under his equivalent 18-holes average coming in, junior Williams, Gillespie, and Leamer all were better than they had been on average. Williams’ score was 10 under his average, Gillespie six, and Leamer nine.
“They came away today proud of themselves and of each other for how they have improved,” lauded Wheeler, deservedly.
Chillicothe’s fifth player, sophomore Dalton Ripley, had less success navigating the conditions, finishing with a 118.
The CHS golfers’ next competition is scheduled for Monday when the Midland Empire Conference Championships will be played at the St. Joseph Country Club. The 18-holes tournament, which will determine the loop’s individual and team champions for 2019, is to begin at 8:30 a.m., weather and course conditions permitting.
The Hornets then will follow with their only two home appearances of the season when they host Trenton next Tuesday and their annual Chillicothe Invitational Tournament next Thursday.