SMITHVILLE, Mo. – When Michael Worth was a junior, he had to spend more than an agonizing hour at sectionals watching the scores come in from the course as he waited to see if his 80 would qualify him for his second state appearance.
“I was horrible,” Worth said. “At the time, I told myself that that’s never going to happen again. As it turned out, 80 was the cutoff – so I just made it, just barely, but at least I made it.”
The Lee’s Summit North senior was prophetic as he shot a 75 Monday at the Class 4 Sectional 4 Tournament at the Paradise Pointe Golf Complex’s par-72 Posse course to finish in third place and punch his ticket to state for the third year in a row.
“Last year, I had to wait forever to find out if I was going to state,” Worth said. “This year, I knew when I walked off the course – and that was a great feeling. I saw my coach and he said, ‘This is a little better than last year, right?’
“It sure was – a lot better.”
North’s Nathan Shull nearly joined Worth but fell one stroke short of the cutoff with an 81.
Longtime North coach Kevin Harrison was nearly as thrilled as Worth that the senior is making his third trip to state.
“He deserves it,” Harrison said after his team finished eighth in the team standings with a 348 total. “He put a lot of pressure on himself and he turned in one of his best scores of the season.”
Worth said the 75 sure beat the 80 he shot in 2016.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself this year because I’m a senior and this is it,” Worth said. “Let me tell you, there is no better feeling that walking to the final hole knowing you’re going to state. I never wanted to have to sit around and wait to see if I had made the cut.”
That’s exactly what Blue Springs South’s Ethan Wegner had to do as he finished with a 79. After more than an hour of waiting, he could take a deep breath as he made the state cut by a stroke.
“I wanted to go to state for the third year in a row and I put a lot of pressure on myself,” Wegner said. “I didn’t play well, which was disappointing because it was such a beautiful day. It was windy, but it was a great day for golf.
“My putter wasn’t working at all, but I was able to grind it out and qualify. That’s all that matters – making it to state. Once I’m there, I can concentrate on having a good state tournament – but you have to get there first.”
Casey Enright is thrilled to be heading to state with Wegner in his first season as the Jaguars’ coach.
“It’s exciting – for Ethan and for me,” Enright said. “It’s special to have a golfer represent your school at state in your first year as the head coach. I know he was putting pressure on himself because he wanted to go for the third year in a row and he got it done.”
The Jaguars nearly got two through, but Jacob Krahenbuhl shot 83 to miss the cut by three strokes.
Rockhurt’s Ethan Packel was the medalist with a 72. Rockhurst (305) and Liberty North (311) are going to state as teams for finishing 1-2.
Other area scores:
Blue Springs South: Camron Haas, 94.
Blue Springs: Taylor Muller, 91; Tim Berg, 95.
Fort Osage: Sam Morgan, 112.
Grain Valley: Tye Bartlett, 89; Troy Bartlett, 92; Jacob Feist (withdrew).
Lee’s Summit North: Michael Foster, 94; Brock Witmer, 98.
CLASS 3 SECTIONAL 4: Oak Grove’s Austin Holtorf shot 106 and failed to advance to state Monday in the Class 3 Sectional 4 Tournament at Excelsior Springs Country Club.