At the end of the day, Wednesday’s Class 4 District 7 boys golf tournament wasn’t about who played best for most of the teams in attendance.

At the end of the day, Wednesday’s Class 4 District 7 boys golf tournament wasn’t about who played best for most of the teams in attendance.

Instead, the tournament at par-72 Fred Arbanas Golf Course at Longview Lake came down to playing well enough. And then counting blessings.

Despite higher-than-expected scores nearly across the board, Blue Springs South advanced all five of its golfers to next week’s sectional at WinterStone Golf Course. With J.P. Derksen and Blair Sanders carding 76s, the Jaguars totaled a 323 to finish third behind Rockhurst (303) and Lee’s Summit West (313). Lee’s Summit North (325) ended fourth and Blue Springs (357) came in fifth.

South’s Joseph Hanes (85), Blake Windsor (85) and Zach Kurth (89) also made the sectional cutoff of 89. The top two teams and best 15 finishers outside those two squads advance.

Blue Springs notched three sectional qualifiers with Christian Balmer (86), Taylor Schick (86) and Josh Whitt (88) extending their seasons. Like South, the Broncos’ entire roster moved on despite placing outside the top two. Chris Fryatt and Keaton Black led North by registering 79s while Tyler Tobias shot an 82, Ian Mathewson ended with an 85 and Jake Loveland came in with an 88.

Coaches and players from just about every team were blown away by the pin placement of several holes. Jaguar coach Mike McGown referenced hole No. 12 – with the pin just feet from the edge of the green – as particularly baffling.

“Let’s give the boys to opportunity to score instead of the opportunity to look foolish,” McGown said.

But McGown also added that the pins made it difficult for everyone, so it came down to who could best cope with a little frustration. At that point, the strategy becomes a lot more about damage control, Balmer said.

“You just aim for the middle of the green and try not to hit it into trouble,” the Blue Springs senior said. “Just hit it on there and try to two-putt.”

Derksen handled that adversity very well after starting three-over on the first two holes. He answered with a string of pars in a row, a birdie and “just grinded it out from there.”

“I’ve had bad holes before,” Derksen said. “I’ve come back from bad holes. I’m pretty experienced with that now, so I knew I could battle back.”

Sanders said several of his teammates were disappointed with their scores although personally, he left fairly satisfied with his effort after lowering his total by 10 strokes from last year’s district effort. Sanders also drained a 60-footer off the green on hole No. 5.

“The putting was working today,” said Sanders, who placed tied for third and earned a medal. “Any putt I needed to make I made today.”

And while the Jaguars were a little frustrated they didn’t build off the momentum of four straight victories, including Monday’s first-place finish in the Suburban Big Six Conference Championships, McGown said that was really a secondary concern.

“You either win the tournament and walk way winning it, or you qualify,” McGown said. “And if you qualify, it doesn’t make any difference if you shoot 65 or one shot below the cutline.”

Although Zac Clark (94) and Nathan Podjenski (94) ended their seasons for the Wildcats, coach Tom Round said his squad’s effort exceeded his expectations.

“I was hoping for one and the more the merrier,” Round said. “To get three through is outstanding.”

CLASS 3 DISTRICT 7: Grain Valley qualified two golfers for the Class 3 sectional next Wednesday at the Excelsior Springs Country Club.

Senior Daniel White shot 88 and sophomore Hunter Peterson 94 in the District 7 meet at par-72 Adams Pointe Golf Club Wednesday.

Grain Valley placed sixth in the team standings with 380. Marshall shot 327 and Pleasant Hill 352 to qualify for the sectional.

“Daniel made it to sectional last year and Hunter missed by one shot,” Grain Valley coach Andy Herbert said. “Both have worked extremely hard. I am proud of both of them. “

Pleasant Hill’s Taylor Livingston was the medalist with an 80.