Kyle Barbee called his Monday at Adams Pointe Golf Club a “grind of a round” and expressed some surprise when informed that his 5-over-par 77 score made him an early leader in the clubhouse.
As it turned out, the Blue Springs South junior also had the best round at the Suburban Big Six Championships.
Barbee’s score paced South, which had won last year’s title, to second place with a 334 total, a few strokes behind champion Liberty’s 331 and one better than third-place Lee’s Summit North. Blue Springs, led by Jackson Koenig’s 83, finished fourth at 350, followed by Lee’s Summit (356) and Raymore-Peculiar (365).
Players teed off a little after 8 a.m., and Barbee, who started on No. 1, took advantage of the calmer conditions at the time.
“I hit seven of nine greens on the first nine,” he said. “I was just keeping the ball in play, giving myself some opportunities, and I made some birdies on the front nine.”
On the par-5 ninth, he blasted his second shot from the rough to leave a 30-footer on the green, where he two-putted for birdie.
“As the wind picked up, the harder it got,” Barbee said. “I was hoping the wind would hold off, but it didn’t. The back nine doesn’t protect from the wind. We’ve had a bipolar spring with the weather. I had to grind out some pars.”
Ryan Drake’s 84, Trevor Palmer’s 86 and Bryan Hanneman’s 87 rounded out the South scorers, and Jack Steinbeck shot a 94.
“Very happy,” South coach Ted Linke said. “We wanted to try and defend our championship, but I think the boys realized it was a pretty good showing. You’ve got to know where to be and accept that the wind will affect your strokes and your score.
“He’s been so consistent all year,” Linke added of Barbee, who was a move-in transfer from Oklahoma. “It’s nice to see him get to be medalist.”
Lee’s Summit North’s Keaton Black and Ian Mathewson tied Liberty’s Matt Parrott for the day’s second-best round with a 78. Cole Ashby (89), Parker Davis (90) and Brett Scott (93) rounded out the Bronco lineup.
Black said that with exception of the downhill par-4 18th, he felt as if the wind was always against him.
“I went up a few clubs and swung easy,” he said. “It was hard to judge how much to play a lot of shots. You had to know where you were hitting the ball.
“I think we’re all pretty disappointed. All of us think we could’ve played better, and we thought we had a shot at winning conference. But it’s all right; there’s always another day. It was tough to score in this weather.”
For Blue Springs, Steven Shaw backed Koenig with an 84. Taylor Miller (91), Brian Armstrong (92) and Devin Hyman (94) completed the Blue Springs lineup.
Koenig, who started his day on No. 18, said he tried not to do too much with his shots because of the wind.
“It was windy on the back nine, but I played solid,” he said. “Just all-around my game was good – very consistent.”
The all-conference team consisted of Barbee, Drake and Palmer from South, Black and Mathewson from North, Koenig and Shaw from Blue Springs and Parrott, Garrett Wilsner (81) and Collin Schmidt (83) from Liberty. Hanneman and Ashby were among those who received honorable mention.
SUBURBAN MIDDLE SIX: Lee’s Summit West had four of the six first-team all-league players and totaled 312 to win the Middle Six title Monday at par-72 Drumm Farm Golf Club. Park Hill South (327), St. Joseph Central (337), Truman (361) and Park Hill (362) rounded out the field.
Brian Billings’ 80 led the second team and paced Truman’s effort. Dane Garcia (89), Spencer Jones (91), Blake Jones (101) and Ryan Hatch (102) completed the Patriots’ lineup.
“Brian played very well overall,” Truman coach Becky Costello said. “He had two holes that caused him some problems, but otherwise he was extremely consistent. He is striking the ball well (only missed one fairway) and making putts. His confidence is increasing, and I expect that to start to show in his final scores.
“As a team, we had too many missed opportunities. We will work on our approach to each hole – such as club selection and target – this week to make sure we are ready to play to our potential next Monday at districts.”
West’s Kerry Maguire and South’s Tanner Owen tied for the day’s top round with a 77. Nelson Searcy (78), Blake Kobel (78) and Robert McKee (79) from West and Cole Roberts (79) from Central completed the first team.
SUBURBAN MIDDLE SEVEN: Staley won the title with a 350, led by medalist Josh Burd (82), while Fort Osage took fourth (388) and William Chrisman sixth (398) at the par-72 Outlaw course at Paradise Pointe in Smithville.
Fort Osage’s Micah Lewis tied for the fourth-best round with an 89, giving him first-team honors. Sam Morgan (95) received honorable mention, while Cody Ball (101), Bryce Richardson (103) and Collen Divers (113) rounded out the Indians' lineup.
“I’m pretty happy with both those boys,” Fort Osage coach Roger Hunt said of Lewis and Morgan.
Chrisman’s Jake Becker carded an 90 for first-team honors and Max Merit a 95 for honorable mention. Garrett Giles (106), John Hennessy (107) and Josue Najera (108) completed the Bears’ lineup.
Chrisman coach Jacob Basnight noted the 398 total represents a 53-stroke improvement from last season’s tournament, “which shows again how far along our guys are coming as a team.
“Overall I’m quite pleased with how well they did at both levels and look forward to seeing how the varsity guys fare at next week’s district tournament at Staley Farms.”