LIBERTY, Mo. — Platte County’s Ashleigh Beamer set one goal before Monday’s Class 2 District 8 round at Cardinal Run Golf Course in Liberty, Mo. — survive and advance. The senior did just that, carding a 27-over 99 to advance to next week’s Sectional 4 individual tournament at Smithville. She fought through a tough round to make a return trip to sectionals — her fourth time advancing to the qualifying tournament for the Missouri State Golf Championships.
“It was not good,” Beamer said. “I do not like this golf course, but you know what? It’s fine. I just wanted to go to sectionals. I worry too much. Then my golf game goes down hill. After a while, when I stopped worrying about it, it got better. Any bad hole that I have, I just go to the next hole and just forget about it.”
Beamer qualified for state as a freshman and sophomore before coming up four strokes short of advancing a year ago. On Monday, she started on the par-4 10th with a bogey. Her round started to roll on No. 18.
A par on the 457-yard hole started a run of three pars in four holes. The strong stretch ended up enough to help her earn all-district honors for the third time with a tie for 15th place.
Platte County’s Avree Sealy also advanced to next week’s sectional with a 38-over 110 — good for the last qualifying slot.
Park Hill’s Sydney Paulak turned in a career-low 80 to place second — three strokes behind district champion Ana Rodriguez of Staley’s 5-over 77. The Trojans’ senior will look to make a return trip to the state tournament after a 49th-place finish last year.
“I started off really strong because I parred pretty much everything on the front nine,” Paulak said. “It was really nice. At first I thought I would maybe get big headed and I would maybe mess up a hole. It turns out it gave me positive momentum so I had good focus. I hadn’t had any amazing rounds yet. I haven’t had any awful rounds either.
“I had just been playing really average. It’s good to see me dropping (scores) right when it matters.”
Paulak carded a 2-over 38 on the front nine – also a career-best for nine holes — with seven pars, a birdie and a triple bogey on the par-4 fifth. She avoided any other big numbers on the back with no score worse than a bogey on the way to a 6-over 42.
Paulak also bettered her younger sister after ceding the No. 1 spot to the sophomore at the beginning of the year.
Sam Paulak carded her worst 18-hole score of the year with a 24-over 96. The score earned her all-district honors and a trip to sectionals. She will look to make her first trip to state after missing the cut line by five strokes as a freshman.
“It’s nice to have someone I can talk to and who understands what’s going on,” Sydney Paulak said. “I’d say it was more competitive last year, but this year, we get along pretty well. I’ll be honest; there hasn’t been that much drive because she’s beaten me at pretty much every tournament except this one. Now I’m thinking about how last year she did well but didn’t make it to state. It makes me wonder what will happen.”
The Trojans finished in fifth place as a team with a 414, 52 strokes behind district- champion Liberty and seven strokes behind rival and fourth-place team Park Hill South’s 407. The Panthers will compete as a team at sectionals after qualifying four individuals through districts.
Ellen Eggers led the effort from the No. 4 slot with a 26-over 98, which garnered all-district honors. Eggers returned as a sectional qualifier a year ago, but a tough round ended her season. Miranda Steczak (27-over 99), Hannah Fasbender (32-over 105) and Grace Dunker (34-over, 106) also will make the trip to Paradise Pointe next week.
“I think it’s a great accomplishment for the girls,” Park Hill South coach Tracy Mangles said. “We have worked really hard this year. For them to be able to see the fruits of their labor, so to speak, and go to the sectional golf tournament, it’s a testament to how well they performed and how hard they worked this year.”