Kansas City Kansas Community College’s golf team will and can play with the “big boys.”
The only community college team in a field of nine four-year colleges in the William Woods Fall Invitational this past weekend, the Blue Devils finished a solid third in the 36-hole event played at Tanglewood Golf Course in Fulton, Mo.
An NAIA powerhouse, William Woods was a runaway winner, finishing seven strokes under par with a total of 569. Second in the NAIA national tournament last year, the Owls were ranked No. 1 in this fall’s Bushnell Golfweek preseason poll and No. 2 in the NAIA Coaches Association poll.
Columbia College was second at 592 with KCKCC rallying past William Woods’ B team for third. Trailing William Woods 301-302 after the first round, the Blue Devils posted a second round 299 to finish four shots in front in the battle for third at 601 Columbia’s B team was fifth (612) followed by St. Xavier, 629; Lyon College, 629; Central Methodist, 650; and Westminster, 717.
Three Blue Devils finished among the top 11 in medalist completion. Marc McClain, a sophomore from Bonner Springs, led the way with a one-over par 73-72-145 followed by Olathe East sophomore Zach Spencer, who tied for seventh with a 74-73; and Newton soph Dalton Ayres, who finished 11th at 73-76-149. Jeremy Dunham, a freshman from Derby, tied for 16th at 78-75-153 with Blue Valley North soph Evan Sharzer 36th at 87-76-163.
“We played pretty well,” said KCKCC Coach Gary Shrader. “It was real windy the first day but ideal the second.”
The Blue Devils resume action next Monday and Tuesday in the Central Methodist Invitational in Boonville, annually one of the biggest of the fall tournaments.
William Woods got outstanding performances from its returning two first team All-Americans as Billy McKenzie took medalist honors with a 7-under par 137 and David Houlding was runnerup with a 6-under 138.