EMPORIA — Great Bend junior Kelby Titus started slowly, but finished strong with a 13th-place tie (78) at Emporia Municipal Golf Course Monday. Play was delayed three hours because of rain and lightning.
Titus played two holes before play was delayed. He struggled from the outset and played his first six holes in 6-over-par.
“Kelby got off to a rocky start, going 6-over par through the first six holes, including three penalty strokes,” said Great Bend coach Jacob McAtee. “For the final 12 holes, he really settled in and played solid golf, going 1-over-par. He played his best golf at the end of the round, finishing with three birdie opportunities.”
McAtee said Titus made a commitment to improve his game after missing qualifying for state by one shot as a sophomore.
“After not qualifying for state, Kelby was on a quest to improve his game in order to accomplish what he did,” McAtee said. “He finished his junior season as an All-WAC, 5A All-Region, and 5A All-State player for the Panthers. He will continue playing this summer on the Kansas Junior Golf Association circuit. I look forward to having Kelby back for his senior season in 2017.”
University of Auburn-bound Wells Padgett of Maize South shot 2-under 69 to beat runner-up Jack Seiler of St. Thomaas Aquinas (72) by three strokes. Padgett shot 4-under-par 32 on the back nine. St. Thomas Aquinas (299) dethroned four-time defending champion Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel (308) by eight strokes.
CLASS 5A STATE
At Emporia GC, par 71
TEAM SCORES—1. ST. Thomas Aquinas 299; 2. Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel 307; 3. Blue Valley Southwest 311; 4. Andover 313; 5. Wichita Carroll 320; 6. Lenexa St. James 325; 7. Shawnee Heights 329; 8. Salina South 335, Salina Central 335; 10. Valley Center 348; 11. Topeka Seaman 353; 12. Emporia 363.
STATE MEDALISTS—1. Wells Padgett, Maize South, 69; 2. Jack Seiler, Aquinas, 72; 3. Zach Sokolosky, Andover, 73; 4. Kaelan Hackenburg, Maize, 73; 5. Landen King, BVSW, 73; 6. John Baker, Kapaun, 73; 7. Grant Eaton, St. James, 74; 8. Andrew Cunningham, Aquinas, 74; 9. Eric Ewers, Kapaun, 75; 10. Ben VanPelt, Aquinas, 75; 11. Cole Purdum, BVSW, 75; 12. Tyler Stedman, Maize, 77; 13. Kelby Titus, Great Bend, 78; Keaton Eberhart, Kapaun, 78; Jared Loomis, Aquinas, 78; 16. Jacob Wilson, Andover, 79; Kirk Murphy, Carroll, 79; Max Iseman, Carroll, 79; Seth Wingerter, BVSW, 79; Parker Norton, Salina South, 79.