Home Stroke Kickapoo beats Nixa by one stroke to win Bolivar Invitational

Kickapoo beats Nixa by one stroke to win Bolivar Invitational


By Don Eskins (For OzarksSportsZone.com)

Every shot counts in golf and if you don’t believe it just ask the Kickapoo Chiefs.

The Chiefs carded a 338 on Monday (Apr. 5) to grab this year’s Bolivar Invitational, one stroke better than the Nixa Eagles who came in at 339. Finishing third were the Rolla Bulldogs who posted a 350.

The tournament took place at Bolivar’s Silo Ridge golf course.

“I knew we’d do okay today although I really didn’t think we’d shoot this well in our season opener. But for our kids to come in under 340 and pick up the win makes me really happy,” said Kickapoo head coach Ron Yocum.

“Nixa didn’t make it easy for us though. Coach Lotz is a great coach and he has his kids playing very well,” said the Kickapoo coach. “In the end though it all came down to just one swing, the way tough tournaments usually do. We feel very fortunate that the Bolivar Invitational’s one swing belonged to us today.”

Leading the way for the Chiefs was sophomore Gaige Lewis who posted a 76, tops for the tournament. In posting his top medalist round of 76, four over par, he recorded two birdies and an eagle on the sixth hole of play, a 485 yard par five hole.

“The Bolivar Invitational was the first high school golf tournament I’ve ever played in,” said Lewis. “So it was really a great feeling to come out here with all my friends to compete and win. Not just individually but also as a team.”


“I just wanted to come out here and give it my best effort,” he said. “I really didn’t have my best game today though, especially with my putter. But I found a way to get around it to help us grab today’s tournament title.”

Yocum says that Lewis has been a great fit for the Chiefs this year.

“Gaige may just be a sophomore and this may have been his first high school tournament but his success on the course today was in no way a surprise,” said Yocum. “He’s got that extra pop in his swing and he controls his ball well. He’s a player.”

Lewis was joined by teammates Tate Reed- 84, Hayden Wiggins- 87, Ty Wendel 91 and Jack Snider- 92.

Leading the way for the runner-up Nixa Eagles was Chance Wilhite with an 82. Also contributing to the Eagle effort was J. Miller- 84, C. Burch- 85, Jordan Hatman-88 and Meyer Livled- 92.

Out in front for third place Rolla was J. Jordan who fired an 81. Rounding out the Bulldog scoring was Evan Colench- 88, Nate Pulliam- 88, Wyatt Bahr- 93 and Jack Gesualdi- 98.

The win will help propel the Chiefs into the rest of the season.

“I’m really proud of my teammates for the way they played today. We all did what we had to do to get the win,” said Lewis. “I think it’s going to give all of us a boost of confidence as we move on into the season.”

“I’m really proud of our kid’s effort, but what we really got today was just eighteen holes of playing experience, a score and that’s all because every day is a new day,” said Yocum. “We still have lots to do.”

Team Standings
1. Kickapoo – 338
2. Nixa – 339
3. Rolla – 350
4. Republic – 362
5. Lebanon – 371
6. Mt. Vernon – 373
7. Kickapoo B – 376
8. Marshfield – 377
9. Catholic – 379
10. Willard – 383
11. Bolivar – 388
12. Branson – 390
13. Cole Camp – 403
14. Waynesville – 422
15. Buffalo – 426
16. Central – 431
17. Seymour – 442

Top 10 Medalists:
1. Gaige Lewis – 76 – Kickapoo
2. Aiden Asby – 78 – Bolivar
3. Griffin Frey – 80 – Republic
T4. J. Jordan – 81 – Rolla
T4. Curtis Wendler – 81 – Mt. Vernon
6. Chance Wilhite – 82 – Nixa
T7. J. Miller – 84 – Nixa
T7. Tate Reed – 84 – Kickapoo
9. C. Burch – 85 – Nixa
T10. Tyler Han – 86 – Catholic
T10. Jack Greismer – 86 Catholic


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