The Missouri state high school golf championships got underway in southwest Missouri Monday. Silo Ridge Golf Course in Bolivar is the scene for the Class 4 tournament, where Columbia Hickman combined for a 300 (+12) and took a three stroke lead over Poplar Bluff, which finished in third place in 2004 Rockhurst is in third place and nine strokes off the pace. The Hawklets finished in second place last year.

Senior D.J. Chung of Hickman, senior Ben Wood of Kirkwood, sophomore Tyler Hillis of Poplar Bluff and freshman Kevin Kring of Springfield Central each shot 68 (-4) and are tied for the individual lead in Class 4. Hillis was the co-champ in Class 4 as a freshman.

Mary Institute-Country Day is seeking its second-straight title in Class 3 and they have a six stroke lead over Ozark by shooting 301 (+13). After MICDS and Ozark the drop off to the rest of the field is quite large. Hannibal is in third place, 21 strokes out of the lead. The Class 3 championship is being played at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield.

MICDS sophomore Tyler Johnson has a one stroke lead over teammate Ross Millman, who is a junior, for the individual lead. Johnson shot a 70 on Monday and Millman shot 71. Three others are tied for third by shooting 74.

Mt. Vernon is also looking to win back-to-back titles and they have a two stroke lead at Deer Lake Golf Course in Springfield. They shot 306 (+18) and second place Lawson shot a 308. Boonville is close behind in third place with a 313. five schools within 20 shots of Mt. Vernon’s lead.

Freshman Jared King of Lawson is impressing onlookers in his first state tournament. He shot a 72 for the individual lead after day one. Junior Bryce Crawford of Seneca and tony Melton of Mt. Vernon are one stroke off the pace at 73. Five golfers are tied at 75 and in total 28 golfers are within six strokes of the lead.

While MICDS and Mt. Vernon are looking to defend their titles, Tipton is looking to win for the third straight year and so far, they’re on their way. The Cardinals shot 325 (+37) at Island Green Golf Course in Republic to take a six-stroke lead over Greenwood and Marceline on Monday. Thayer stands in fourth place at 331.

Tipton was led by senior Scott Backes, who shot a 74 (+2), which was the best round of the day. He leads Haden Crumpton, a junior from New Bloomfield and Brandon Stallo, a senior from Salisbury by a stroke for the individual lead.