(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
POPLAR BLUFF -- If their was ever a signature win to hang your hat on, the Sikeston golf team found it.
Competing against 14 different schools, the Bulldog golfers finished first in the Poplar Bluff Invitational with a combined score of 314.
"I'm just really proud of the way the kids stepped up and played," Sikeston golf coach Andy McGill said. "They fought adversity with the rain and wind. They just all stepped up and played so well."
The 18-hole tournament started just after noon in a driving downpour over the first few holes. A light rain fell for much of the day with the intensity picking up at times. It even rained when the sun finally came out after many of the players had finished their 14th hole.
Sikeston edged out host Poplar Bluff (315), Notre Dame (316) and Jackson (323) on their way to the first place team finish.
Evan Deere led Sikeston with a 72 -- the second-best individual finish. Ben Murray finished with a 77 and Connor Landers ended his day with an 80.
Deere opened his round with 10 straight pars before a bogey on the par-3 16th. A birdie on the par-5 18th put him back to even before consecutive bogeys starting on No. 1, his 14th hole. After a birdie on the par-3 third, Deere closed out his round with pars to finish at 1-over.
"They were definitely consistent," McGill said. "Evan (Deere) has always been there for us to post those types of scores. But, if Ben Murray and Conner Landers didn't shoot the way they did, we wouldn't have been in the position to win. Everyone shot lights out. It's the best we've shot as a team in awhile."
Dexter finished eighth in the tournament with Cody Stevens leading the Bearcats with a 78. New Madrid County Central was ninth with a 367 and Kelly finished 11th with 399.
Sikeston, 314; Poplar Bluff, 315; Notre Dame, 316; Jackson, 323; Cape Central 335; PB Maroon 336; Kennett, 340; Dexter, 347; NMCC, 367; Bloomfield, 375; Kelly, 399; Malden, 406; Doniphan, 407; Caruthersville, 417; Fulton School 436.
INDIVIDUALS (Par 71) -- 1. Carr Vernon, Poplar Bluff, 71; 2. Evan Deere, Sikeston, 72; 3. Hayden Combs, Kennett, 74; t4. Tanner Werner, Jackson, 75; John Gilmore, PB Maroon, 75; t6. Travis Simmons, Cape Central, 77; Ben Murray, Sikeston, 77; Zane Betz, Van Buren, 77; t9. Cody Stevens, Dexter, 78; Gunnar Knudtston, Notre Dame, 78; Jacob Seabaugh, Notre Dame, 78; t12. Corey Connell, Cape Central, 80; Cody Cox, Notre Dame, 80; Brady Dixon, Notre Dame, 80; Collin Davis, Poplar Bluff, 80; Connor Landers, Sikeston, 80;
DEXTER (347) -- Cody Stevens 78; Logan Robey 81; Brennen Justice 88; Alan Flannigan 100; Ryan Joyner 101.
KELLY (399) -- Derrick Garner 84; Jacob Buell 103; Brandon Houseman 105; Dillan Rucker 107; Josh Roberts 118.
NMCC (367) -- Reese Porter 87; Loften Hayes 88; Trey Recker 99; Nick Machirain 103; T Moore 127.
SIKESTON (314) -- Evan Deere 72; Ben Murray 77; Connor Landers 80; Kirk Hoggatt 85; Conor MacGillivaray 86.