BOLIVAR, Mo. — The comeback was worth the wait.
A year after having their season extinguished by the coronavirus pandemic, the Palmyra boys golf team strung four solid rounds on each day of the Class 2 state tournament, winning the program’s first-ever state championship Tuesday at Silo Ridge Golf Course.
The Panthers posted a 340 team total in the second round, shaving 12 strokes off the first-round score and posting a 692 finish.
“It feels absolutely amazing,” Palmyra coach Chris Parsons said. “To see my three seniors who didn’t get to play last year ... come back this year and be able to hold that state trophy, it was awesome.”
Palmyra senior Jacob Webster finished fourth overall with at 153. He followed an opening-round 80 with a career-best 18-hole score of 1-over 73.
“I spent a lot of time with him today,” Parsons said. “You could just tell he was relaxed on the course and tell he was in that moment. He knew this was the final round of his (high school) career and what a round to finish on.”
Joining Webster in the top 10 was Palmyra junior Laydin Lochman, who placed ninth overall with a 166. Parsons said Lochman improved throughout the season and expects a special season next year.
“(Lochman) has kind of been that No. 3 or 4 golfer until the last couple of weeks,” Parsons said. “He actually borrowed my putter a couple of weeks ago and got off to a hot start. That thing has just rolled, and he’s been a chipping and putting fool these last couple of weeks.”
Palmyra senior Brady Shively placed 28th after finishing eight strokes better in the second round. He had a combined score of 182 after shooting an 87 Tuesday.
“He had a rough day yesterday and spent a lot of the evening being frustrated,” Parsons said. “He knew he could play better, so it’s good to see him come back and shoot better to go out on a high note.”
Rounding things out was senior Elijah Edwards, who finished 46th overall with a 191. Parsons said Edwards set a personal goal of getting in the top 50 but was more excited about the team’s state championship.
“That kind of sums up Elijah,” Parsons said. “It’s about the team. It’s about reaching those goals that they had when they were freshmen and wanted to get done before they graduated.”
Monroe City senior Logan Buhlig finished tied for 10th overall at 153. He scored 80 in the first round and 87 in the second round. Monroe City junior Kyle Hays placed 71st overall with a 211.
Bowling Green’s Brayden Buffington won the individual championship with a 147.
In the Class 1 state tournament at Fremont Hills Golf Course in Nixa, South Shelby’s Casen Glover finished 13th with a 162, while Canton’s Trevor Biggerstaff tied for 27th at 173.