KCKCC Golfers Fifth In Nation With All Home-Grown Talent
Blue Devils in best finish in field of warm weather teams; Rinehart All-American
Not only was Kansas City Kansas Community College's fifth place finish in the NJCAA Division II golf tournament the best in history, the Blue Devils were the only team with all home-grown players.
While many of the qualifiers in the 18-team national were heavy with international standouts, KCKCC's five players are all from the immediate KCK area – All-American Charlie Rinehart and Montana Fasching, both Piper graduates; Marc McClain, Bonner Springs; Alex Forristal, Olathe East; and Seve Sites of Shawnee Mission Northwest. All are sophomores except McClain.
Rinehart led the Blue Devils with a 3-under par 285 that included a 6-under 66 in the second round that matched the tournament's best single round. Tying for 13th, Rinehart was named to the Second All-American team and the All-Tournament team while Forristal earned All-American honorable mention with a one-over 289 and a tie for 21st. McClain finished in a tie for 48th with a 297; Fasching shared 52nd at 298; and Sites 85th with a 308.
In addition to KCKCC's highest finish in a national tournament, the Blue Devils had one of the highest finishes ever by a Jayhawk Conference team in a tournament perennially dominated by teams from the south where golf can be played year round. And this year was no exception.
South Mountain Community College of Phoenix, Ariz., repeated as national champion, winning its fourth national title since 2010. The Cougars finished the 72-hole tournament with a 30 under par 1122. Three other former national champion teams also finished ahead of KCKCC – Tyler, Tex., 1137; Mississippi Golf Coast, 1152; and Darton State College of Georgia, 1159.
KCKCC took over fifth place in the opening round and stayed in fifth the remaining three days. The Blue Devils opened with back-to-back rounds of one-under par 287 before finishing with rounds of 296 and 299. "As the tournament went along the pin placements got tougher and we did not keep out of some of the hazards," said Shrader. The final two rounds toughened for all the top five finishers as all had their highest scores in rounds three and four.
"I was real proud of the way we got started and stayed right there for all four rounds," said Shrader. "With such a wet and late spring, it took us a while to catch up so finishing fifth against warm weather teams is really a good testimony to high school golf in the Kansas City area."
KCKCC's best previous finish came in 1995 when Robert Russell won the Division I national championship while leading the Blue Devils to sixth.