The Rolla and St. James golf teams took part in their Sectional Golf Tournaments on Monday, May 7. Rolla nearly advanced to State as a team, but Jeff City swooped in at the end to end the Bulldogs' chances and hold them to one qualifier. St. James had one qualify and one fall just short.
Rolla had a wild day on Monday, as they nearly sent all five golfers to the State Tournament. The Bulldogs finished their round with a team score of 331, which put them in a tie with Lebanon for second place. With a tie, the tiebreaker came down to the fifth golfer for each squad. Senior Cameron Copeland stepped up big time on the 18th hole and buried a birdie for what seemed to be Rolla's team qualifying putt. Unfortunately, Jeff City had their fourth golfer in the final group and the Jays were able to best both Rolla and Lebanon by three strokes to end Rolla's run.
While missing out as a team was rough, the biggest downside is that Rolla went from five State qualifiers to one, as two Bulldogs fell one stroke short of the cutoff. Jack Gesualdi and Jeriah Jordan both shot 84's and the cutoff was set at 83. Evan Moore also narrowly missed the cut by five strokes, while Copeland was three strokes behind him.
In the midst of a disappointing turn in the final moments, Rolla's standout was Matt Drallmeier. The senior was excellent on the day, setting his own tournament record with a +3 75 to finish in third place.
"This game lends itself to disappointment and frustration with the highest highs and the lowest lows," said head coach Zack Nixon of the Sectional. "After all is said and done, I have only great things to say about this team with their work ethic, attitude and behavior is second to none."
St. James traveled to Jackson for their Sectional and nearly sent two golfers to the State meet. Their lone qualifier was Isaac Helterbrand. The junior has spent most of his high school golfing career as the Tigers' number three, but he played exceptionally well on Monday, coming in with a +27 98. That score was the exact cutoff, as Helterbrand tied with six other golfers. With the cutoff set at +27, Payton Engelbrecht narrowly missed the cut with her score of a +29 100. Garrick Lonning rounded things out for St. James with a +43 score of 124.
"Isaac has been improving each week, especially with keeping his ball in the fairway," said head coach Kevin Conway. "He told me after the tournament that he put the driver in the bag and didn't use it, so he's showing maturity and using that clubs that are working for him."
The State golf tournament will be played on Monday and Tuesday, May 14-15. Rolla will play at Swope Memorial Golf Course in Kansas City, while St. James will play at Meadow Lake Acres Country Club in New Bloomfield.