SHAWNEE, Okla. – Wil Claywell maintained his poise and place near the top of the leaderboard as several competitors began sliding downward Saturday.
The North County graduate repeated as individual Region 16 golf champion, and Mineral Area did likewise in a team capacity during the NJCAA Division II South Central district tournament.
The Cardinals placed fourth among the seven teams gathered at Shawnee Country Club, located about 40 miles east of Oklahoma City, but dominated the group of four from Missouri.
Seminole State and Murray State finished tied atop the district with collective totals of 921 through 54 holes over two days in a remarkably tight battle.
Hesston (Kan.) was just one shot back with 922. Mineral Area finished at 924, just three strokes from claiming the district plaque for a second straight year.
Claywell ended at 14-over par after posting rounds of 74, 74 and 76, and finished 14 holes of his second round Friday before darkness suspended play.
Nearest Region 16 contender Chase Martel of Metropolitan finished seven shots behind Claywell at +21, and tied for seven overall.
The individual district title was seemingly also within the grasp of Claywell as he navigated the 15th hole with a two-stroke advantage over Brice Wolff of Seminole State.
Wolfe has sustained a possible crushing misstep by carding a seven on the par-three 12th, but stormed back to birdie the 16th and 17th for an eventual one-shot triumph.
Claywell notched the lone birdie of his final round on the front nine, and dropped a shot at the 16th to trail Wolfe by one heading to a final par-5 opportunity.
Wolfe tallied a three-over 73 in the final round, and held on for the district victory as Claywell made par at 550-yard 18th.
Mineral Area was consistent from a team perspective, as two rounds of 309 bookended a 306. Seminole State, in contrast, followed up a blistering 290 on Friday by fading to 323 in round two.
Ethan McClinton placed third in the region and 10th in the district for the Cardinals at 22-over par after notching two par-three birdies on Saturday.
Cy Worley (+25) tied for 13th while Ben Allison (+27) landed 15th overall. Farmington graduate Jonah Burgess (+32) completed the MAC effort.
McClinton and Worley joined Claywell on the all-region First Team. Allison and Burgess landed Second Team distinction.
Mike Mapes was again named Region 16 Coach of the Year.
Claywell qualified for the national tournament, which begins May 21 at Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, Ind.