BROOKFIELD, Mo. -- After his team played a practice round at Green Hills Golf Course on Sunday, Palmyra boys golf coach Marty Smyser felt quietly optimistic.
"We were really able to see where this course played to our strengths," he said.
Monday, in the Class 2 sectional, the Panthers never veered from that.
Mason Burch shot an 8-over 80 and was one of four Palmyra golfers to finish in the top 15 as the Panthers qualified for the state tournament for the third straight year with a top-two finish. Palmyra posted a 327 total, finishing second behind Kansas City St. Pius X by six strokes.
Palmyra was 21 strokes clear of the rest of the field.
The 327 was the second-best team score in any of the four sectionals.
"The guys didn't press and try to make things happen," Smyser said. "Each guy found that club they could consistently hit off the tee, whether that was driver, 5-wood, 3-iron, 4-iron, whatever, and they kept riding it. They didn't do anything other than play their game."
Birch finished sixth individually, one stroke out of second. St. Pius X's Cole Elling earned medalists honors with a 1-over 73.
Palmyra's Brock Bollin and Jacob Webster both posted 82s to tie for 10th, while Brady Shively shot an 83 to tie for 14th.
They will tee it up next Monday and Tuesday at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield for the 36-hole state tournament.
"We're walking into state feeling good about our game," Smyser said.
Highland's Dalton Klocke finished in a four-way tie for second at 7-over 79 and advanced as an individual along with Monroe City's Evan Janes, who shot an 81 to tie for seventh.