Payton Boekhout continued to play the best golf of his career, but he didn’t want to take all of the credit.
Platte County put up another extremely balanced performance in the Suburban Conference Blue Division Championships on Monday, April 24 at Shiloh Springs Golf Course in Platte City. With their senior star leading the way, the Pirates shot a 322 — their best tournament score of the season — to repeat as conference champions.
Boekhout shot a 5-over 76 to give Platte County the individual conference champion for a second straight year, as well. Matt Madill won last year’s title.
“The team means a lot because it’s back-to-back,” Boekhout said. “I feel like team is more important than individual, but individual is awesome. I didn’t expect that.”
Platte County took the top three spots and four of the 10 all-conference slots. The Pirates were 33 shots in front of Kearney for the team title.
Boekhout turned in his typical steady performance, making the turn at 4-over thanks in part to a triple bogey seven on No. 2. He then made six pars, two bogeys and a birdie in his final nine holes to post a career-best 76. The birdie came on the par-5 15th.
Honorable mention as a sophomore, Boekhout was fourth in conference a year ago before earning this year’s title.
“The front’s usually more difficult for me,” Boekhout said. “I just started hitting it straight, I guess, and got used to the greens.”
Platte County’s steady No. 2 faltered only slightly and still came away with a top-10 finish.
Logan Hessemyer, a freshman, battled through a difficult round, even losing his ball off the tee on the short par-4 10th. After a lengthy search in a very open area, he took a drop and made a bogey and ended up at 15-over — good enough for sixth and all-conference honors.
In typical fashion, the lower portion of Platte County’s lineup made up the difference. Tanner Burkin, a senior, fired a 78 to finish second behind Boekhout, while sophomore Bradley Poos was third with an 82.
Like Hessemyer, Burkin and Poos were first time all-conference finishers.
Burkin started on No. 14 with a double bogey but made birdie at No. 16 — the first of three on the round. He steadied out in the middle of his round and made another birdie at No. 5.
Closing his round, Burkin hit an approach shot on the par-4 13th within 10 feet and then drained a bending putt to conclude with a highlight.
“I just read it right and knocked it in,” said Burkin, who made the varsity lineup for the first time this season. “I had confidence because my putting was good today.”
Poos made nine pars and only two double bogeys in his 11-over round from Platte County’s No. 5 spot. He factored into the scoring after junior Jack Laderoute struggled to a 24-over 95, placing him 12th for one of five honorable mention all-conference places.
Last season, Laderoute finished as Blue Division runner-up to Madill.
“The four behind us have just been switching,” Boekhout said. “You could go from the third spot to the sixth spot just like that. It’s nice because you know someone is going to show up and post a good score.”
Platte County triangular
The Pirates were second out of three teams Wednesday, April 19, finishing two strokes behind Park Hill on a rare off day.
Platte County shot a 181 with Boekhout leading the way with a 44. Hessemyer was one shot back at 45, and Burkin, Laderoute and Austin Acord all shot matching 46s to round out the team score for the Pirates.
Grandview was third with a 222.