Freshman shoots a 99 in 18-holes state-qualifying tournament at Excelsior Springs Monday, May 6, a shot under his season average, but not enough to keep his and the Hornets' 2019 season going

EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, Mo. — Freshman Gage Leamer of the Chillicothe (Mo.) HS golf Hornets remained in double digits to better his season average by a sliver in Monday’s (May 6) Class 2 sectional tournament on the Excelsior Springs Golf Course, but it wasn’t nearly enough to extend his and the Hornets’ 2019 season to next week’s state tournament at Columbia.
Commencing the state-qualifying tournament with a need to be among the 12 lowest-scoring players who weren’t members of the two teams which finished atop the team standings, Leamer figured to score significantly better than his season average of 100 shots per 18 holes, an average built up over the course of 135 holes of competition this spring.
On the hopeful side, the frosh’s average over his most-recent 81 holes of competition was a lower 97.3, including a 91 in the previous Monday’s district tournament. It was believed he’d likely have to duplicate that district score – and probably better it – to earn the right to go on to state.
Leamer did avoid reaching his season average, but only barely, carding a 99 on the par-72 Excelsior Springs course. As anticipated, that was far above the necessary score for advancement, which turned out to be 89. As a result, Chillicothe failed to qualify anyone for the state tournament for the first time since 2018 graduate Hayden Montgomery ended a 2009-15 CHS qualifying drought with the first of his three trips to state in 2016.
The lone CHS sectional participant’s score shaved 0.1 shot off his season average, giving the all-underclassmen Hornets two players with sub-100 averages per 18 holes. Sophomore Colby Gillespie led with a 96.8.
The Class 3 Sectional 4 Tournament’s individual champion is Austin Gillund of Clinton. His 3-over-par 75 left him two shots clear of Jackson Stone of Pleasant Hill.
Team-wise, Kansas City: Pembroke Hill, with three players in the top 10 individually and all five in the top 15, took the team title with a 326 low-4 score. Nabbing the other team qualifying berth for state was Warrensburg with a 336, but Smithville, which finished with a 340 from its top four finishers, also be included in the team competition at state since it had four individual qualifiers.