This is the time of year when less is more. Spring cleaning has produced less “stuff” sitting around the house. People are asking for less rain. Students are asking for less school. Today, high school students from all around Missouri will be asking for less strokes.

The 2006 MSHSAA Boys Golf Championships conclude today.

In Class 4 action, last year’s team champion Rockhurst has a commanding 15 stroke lead over Park Hill South heading into round two. Rockhurst opened play with a team total 289 at Deer Lake Golf Course in Springfield. Sophomore Tyler Bernard is tied with teammate Jason Schulte and Lebanon’s Jay McBride for the individual lead. They are one under par after shooting a first round 70 Monday. McBride finished third last year as a junior.

The race is quite a bit tighter in Class 3. Only five strokes separate first and third place. Carthage shot a team total 322 to take the lead. But West Plains and MICDS are not far behind. If MICDS can overtake the lead, it will be the third straight championship for them. Carthage didn’t even place in the top 10 last year. Neither team has a player in the top five on the leaderboard. There are four players from those three teams tied for seventh.

In Class 2, Pembroke Hill is looking to add another team trophy to its collection. Pembroke won championships in boys soccer, girls basketball, and girls tennis this school year. They have an eight stroke lead going into the final round of play at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield. Junior Ross Merrill leads Pembroke and is tied for third place overall. California, Boonville, Mountain Grove, and Dixon round out the top five. Mountain Grove finished in second last year. 2005 champion Mount Vernon sits in ninth place.

Thayer and Tipton have flip flopped spots for now in Class 1. Thayer finished in third place last year, but is in the lead after 18 holes this year. Tipton is exactly on the opposite path. They won the championship last year, but are 10 strokes back in third place after round one. Ash Grove sits in the middle of the pancake six strokes back. Thayer’s M.J. Clark is in second place for the individual crown, one stroke ahead of Tipton’s Devan Bestgen. One thing is for sure, Thayer and Tipton will have some say so in who takes home hardware this year.