Marceline's Heller Leads County Prep Golfers' Showings at State Tourneys

Marceline junior tied for 23rd in Class 1 play. Teammate Stallo also in top 50, as is Brookfield's Clarkson in Class 2 after day two surge

As reported to LCL

All three high school boys from Linn County schools who participated in this week’s state golf championships at southwest Missouri sites improved their scores in the final 18 holes of the 2-days, 36-holes events.

Pacing the county’s players was Will Heller, Marceline junior, whose 84 on Tuesday was among the day’s 20-best scores in the Class 1 tournament at the Fremont Hills Country Club course near Nixa.

Combined with his opening-day  87, which had him tied for 27th halfway through the tourney, Heller’s closing round moved him up the leaderboard into a final tie for 23rd place with a final total of 171. There were 68 golfers who completed the Class 1 tourney.

MHS teammate Jacob Stallo nibbled one stroke off his day one score, following his initial 93 with a 92 to post a 36-holes total of 185. That left him in 47th place by himself in the medalist standings.

At the Bolivar area’s Silo Ridge Golf Club, the Class 2 state tournament had new Brookfield graduate Sam Clarkson in its field of 74.

Like the Marceline players at Nixa, Clarkson shot better on day two, but more dramatically so.

Tied for 59th after an opening-round 102, Clarkson bulldogged the course down to a 91 his second time around in the tourney.

That allowed him to jump up into the top 50 in the final standings, securing 49th place with his 193 total.

For all three county participants, it was their first time in state competition. Heller and Stallo obviously will hope to qualify again in 2022 as seniors.

The Class 1 tournament’s team champion was one of Marceline’s Lewis and Clark Conference brethren, Westran. Despite a less-successful second round, it out-distanced runnerup South Harrison by 35 strokes with a 666.

The Class 1 individual champion did turn out to be Orrick’s Dylan Comstock. He shot a 73-73–146 to win by one shot.

In Class 2, Palmyra, similarly a fellow member of the Clarence Cannon Conference with Brookfield, was the only school with at least four state participants, so it was sure to win the team title, barring disqualification of one of its players, which would have kept it from posting a low-4 team score.

There was no such problem and the Panthers posted a mundane 692 total.

The Class 2 medalist by three shots was Brayden Buffington of Bowling Green with a 74-73-147.