Warriors have top three players en route to 301 team score, tourney's best since 2009. Host CHS Hornets fare well with four players shooting 94 or better in 18-holes event at Green Hills Golf Course Thursday (April 18, 2019)
CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — Champion in 2016 with what it indicated was their “B” team group, the Kansas City: St. Pius X boys’ golf Warriors claimed their second Chillicothe Invitational Tournament team title with its varsity squad Thursday (April 18, 2019), posting the lowest winning-team total in a decade.
Behind individual champion Tony Monachino’s 2-under-par 70 on the Green Hill Golf Course and with two others shooting 75 or better, the Warriors had a low-4 team total of 301, 14 strokes fewer than runnerup Maryville.
The St. Pius X total was the lowest by a team in the Chillicothe tournament since the 2009 Cameron Dragons won with a 296.
Monachino’s 70 for the 18-holes event left him with a 4-shots margin over teammate Cole Elling. Yet another Warrior, Tony Mike Bonadonna, took the third-place medal on a scorecard playoff over Matthew Madden of Maryville. Each of them fired a 75.
Chillicothe’s Hornets played well by their own standards with a seventh-place (out of 15 teams) 366. All four of its scoring players finishing in fewer than 95 strokes. CHS had only six previous individual rounds this season equivalent to or better than that total.
Showing the way for the first time was freshman Gage Leamer with a 43-46–89 that tied for 24th, individually.
Having entered with a 102 average per 18 holes over 63 previous holes in competition, Leamer not only vastly bettered his average, but posted both the Hornets’ best tournament round to date by four shots and the CHS boys’ best 9-holes total thus far with his front-9 43. The team’s best nine before that had been a pair of 45s by Colby Gillespie.
Gillespie took advantage of the Hornets’ last chance this spring to compete on their home layout, as well, besting his previous-best tourney score with a 45-46–91. The sophomore had fired a 93 at Cameron April 10.
Right in back of Gillespie was the Hornets’ only non-sophomore or freshman, C.J. Williams. The junior carded a 43-49–92, like each of Chillicothe’s scoring quartet well below his season average.
Rounding out CHS’ low-4 ranks Thursday was another 10th grader, Spencer Shira. His 47-47–94 was one swing shy of matching his season-best, also at Cameron.
Not used for the Hornets’ team score was the 116 of sophomore Dalton Ripley.
While Leamer scored 13 shots under his per-18 average, Gillespie’s 30th-place total was eight strokes under his, Williams’ 11 swings to the better – tying him for 33rd out of 72 players, and Shira’s a hefty improvement of 15 that put him in the top half of the field at a tie for 37th.
In the team standings, Savannah took a distant third with a 337. Chillicothe missed sixth place by a single stroke, but also was only two shots in front of eighth-place Hamilton: Penney.
The medal winners (top 10) behind Monachino, Elling, Bonadonna, and Madden were Trevin Cunningham of Maryville and Dylan Comstock of Orrick (77s), Trent Sheil of Maryville and Grant Gabriel of Macon (78s), Austin Lasher of South Harrison (79), and Zac Vega and Zach Elgert of Savannah (81s).
Chillicothe coach Jim Wheeler expressed his and the school district’s appreciation for the work put in by the Green Hills Golf Course staff to have the course in good playing condition.
“I want to thank Dave Mapel, Keith Kepner, and all the staff at GHGC for their hard work in making our tournament a success,” the coach stated.
Next for Chillicothe’s golfers is slated to be the Bishop LeBlond Invitational Tournament at St. Joseph today, starting at 9 a.m.