SMITHVILLE, Mo. — There were definitely some nervous moments, but Platte County’s Shipp sisters finally set course together for the Class 2 Missouri State Golf Championships.
Jessalyn Shipp shot an 18-over 90 in Class 2 Sectional 4 play Monday, Oct. 2 on the Posse Course at Paradise Pointe Golf Complex, while Kasydie Shipp came in with a 92. Hovering around the cut line, the juniors were forced to wait for the final score to be posted to assure both made the cut.
The top 12 individuals plus ties not from the two automatic qualifying teams advance on to state, and Jessalyn Shipp tied for 11th while Kasydie Shipp was part of the four-way tie for the final spots. Previously, Jessalyn Shipp went to state as a freshman but missed the cut by one stroke a year ago when Kasydie Shipp made her state debut.
“It was always a goal of ours to go together this year, so it’s kind of a relief we both get to go,” Jessalyn Shipp said.
Added Kasydie Shipp: “I was pretty nervous, but I ended up not worrying about it. I just decided whatever happens happens.”
Platte County’s leading duo led the Pirates to a second straight Suburban Conference Blue Division title this season and then finished in the top 15 in Class 2 District 8 together for a third straight year. Both overcame some adversity at sectionals to avoid any disappointment in the second round of the postseason.
At districts, both Shipp sisters teed off on No. 10.
Jessalyn Shipp shot 9-over on both sides, making just one par in her first nine holes. She made five pars on the front nine but suffered a 10 on the par-5 sixth.
“Everyone has a bad hole, so I couldn’t worry about it,” said Jessalyn Shipp, who placed 63rd at state as a freshman.
Kasydie Shipp mishit her first two shots of the round but managed a double bogey on the first hole and ended up at 11-over 47 through nine holes. She made an eight on the par-5 sixth but also had three pars in her final nine holes.
The 92 ended up just good enough to ensure the sisters will have a chance to compete at state together for the first time.
“You’ve just got be able to keep your head in the game, keep focusing and moving forward,” said Kasydie Shipp, who was nine shots away from a state berth as a freshman but placed in a tie for 79th at state last year.
Two of Park Hill South’s Sectional 4 qualifiers also moved on to state.
Notre Dame de Sion (336) and Lee’s Summit West (365) took the automatic berths, and the 12 individuals plus ties behind their top three individuals were separated by just 12 strokes. Sadie Franklin and Maddie Hill — both juniors — were in the bunched group to earn berths for Park Hill South.
Franklin made it two straight years qualifying for state, recovering from a midseason lull. In 2016, she shaved strokes off her score late to become a surprise state debutante, and the same push happened again this year for the only returner to the Panthers’ top five.
On Monday, Franklin shot a 17-over 89 to tie for ninth.
“I didn’t play as well as I wanted to today, but it was good enough to get me to state so I can’t really complain,” said Franklin, who finished tied for 71st at state last year.
Hill ended up in the tie at 92 with Kasydie Shipp to earn her chance at a state debut.
Part of a balanced lineup, Hill didn’t enter with hopes of advancing. The Panthers quickly rebuilt around Franklin and nearly earned a team sectional berth — finishing third at District 8 with sophomore Annie McFee missing an individual qualifying score by one stroke.
Any team with at least four individuals can compete for the automatic state berths.
Instead, Hill joined Franklin and senior Kate Eischens as individuals on the Posse Course. Eischens finished tied for 41st and 19 shots off the cut line, while Hill excelled in her first chance to play in this round of the postseason.
“I had very little expectations for myself, in all honesty, because I didn’t want to get ahead of myself,” Hill said. “It was my first time coming to something like this so I set the goals low, and I exceeded any expectations I had today.”
Park Hill senior Kelby Emerson entered play off her best round of the season. After finishing third in District 8, she shot a 28-over 100 and tied for 29th.
Emerson advanced to sectional play each of the past two years but didn’t make the state cut either time.