By BRETT MARSHALL
Garden City High School's Austin Swender and Tristan Corrales qualified as individuals on Monday at the Class 6A regional golf tournament, which was played at Reflection Ridge Golf Club in Wichita.
The two Buffs golfers will now compete on May 20 at the Class 6A state event, to be played at Meadowbrook Country Club in Overland Park.
Swender shot an 83 on rounds of 43-40 to place eighth individually, while Corrales finished with an 89 on rounds of 45-44 to earn one of the five non-team qualifying spots in the tournament.
"We're happy to get two of them in," said Walker Frey, GCHS golf coach. "It was pretty much the same story as we've had all year in that we couldn't get four good scores put together."
The Buffs finished fourth amongst the seven schools, and needed a third-place finish to earn a team qualifying spot. However, they were 20 shots behind third-place Maize (343) with a 363. Dodge City easily captured the team portion with a 308 total, led by medalist Zach Kirby's 72. Hutchinson finished second with a 324.
"I really have to hand it to Austin," Frey said. "He was 6-over-par through six holes and played the last 12 5-over-par. I'm proud of the way he held it together. Tristan, I thought, just played steady. It wasn't great, but it was good enough."
The remaining Buffs were Tucker Schiffelbein with a 94, Mitch Moore with a 97, Jacob Law with a 98 and Parker Tanner with a 100.
Host Stanton County took advantage of the home course at Prairie Pines Golf Course on Monday to claim the team championship of the Class 2A regional golf tournament.
With the victory, the Trojans advance to the state tournament on May 20 at Mariah Hills Golf Course in Dodge City.
The Trojans shot a total of 319 strokes to finish ahead of fellow Hi-Plains League members Syracuse, which was eight shots back at 327, and Meade, another four back at 331.
"We played well again at home," said Stanton County coach Marty Cook, whose team won its own invitational two weeks prior with a 314 total. "We played really well on the back nine today, something that we've struggled with all year. We've just struggled putting two nines together but they came back and did a great job today."
Down by three after nine holes to Syracuse, the Trojans were led by Brad Ellis' 76, which gave him runner-up honors to Meade's Austin Jansonius, who had a solid even-par 72.
"Brad really showed senior leadership with his final nine (37), and I couldn't be happier for him," Cook said. "With the added pressure of playing at home, I thought the kids really responded. They had the opportunity to go the other way, but they grinded it out. I couldn't be more happy for them."
In addition to Ellis, the Trojans got a 78 from Adrian Gum, which gave him fourth. Gage Martin had an 81, tying for fifth, while Jeremy Amerin shot an 84, tying for 10th.
"It was Brad's best round of the year and he came through at the right time," Cook said.
Syracuse also had one of its best team efforts of the season, and the Bulldogs of coach Rick Mathias were led by sophomore Cameron Coleman with a 77, placing him third. Chase Keller had an 81, Tierney Cashler an 83 and Jake Phillips an 86 to round out the Bulldogs' scoring.
South Gray's Trenton Holloway also qualified as an individual by shooting an 85, earning one of the remaining five qualifying spots.
With the 2A state at nearby Dodge City's Mariah Hills, Cook is looking forward to next week's tournament.
"We're familiar with Mariah, although we don't play there all that much," Cook said. "We're excited about getting over there to play a couple of practice rounds. If we play well, we'll see what kind of damage we can do."
Only Austin Cantrell of Ulysses came away from Monday's Class 4A regional on his home Bentwood Golf Course with a trip to the state tournament next Monday, shooting an 80 and placing fifth individually.
Larned captured team honors with a 324, while Andale won a tie-breaker over Goodland after each team shot a 328. Andale's fifth score was lower than Goodland's fifth player.
Goodland's Gage Ihrig shot a 74 and won a playoff from Jordan Anderson of Andale for medalist.
For the Tigers, Jonah Pfingsten had an 82, Jake Epperson an 84, Samuel Barton a 92, Joseph Lisle a 93 and Luis Mendoza a 101. Hugoton placed eighth among the nine teams with a 386 total. Low for the Eagles was Lawson Fiss with a 91. He was followed by AJ Scott with a 99, Christian Heger with a 104, Matt Nash with a 109 and Maverick Nelson with a 143.
The Class 4A state tournament will be contested at Cherry Oaks Golf Course in Cheney.
Results in Scoreboard, Page B2.