Thomas captures Little People’s title in style, Biggerstaff finishes with strong second round

Quinn Thomas (3)

Hannibal's Quinn Thomas stares down his iron shot during Wednesday's round in the boys 16-18 division of the Pepsi Little People's Golf Championships at Spring Lake Country Club. | Shane Hulsey photo

QUINCY — Quinn Thomas all but had a Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships title wrapped up heading to the final hole on Wednesday. 

He led by six shots at the time, but his style points put a cherry on top of a lopsided victory.

The Hannibal High School graduate chipped in for birdie from just short of the par-3 18th green at Spring Lake Country Club to punctuate his boys 16-18 division title.

“It felt amazing,” Thomas said. “It felt so good because I had chipped horribly today. It felt amazing to do that finally.”

Thomas’ performance may have looked dominant in the end, it wasn’t always that way even during the final round. In fact, he trailed one of his playing partners — Andrew Kuykendall — by one shot after making bogey on the second and third holes.

Then the tides turned in Thomas’ favor.

On the fourth hole, Thomas’ tee shot landed under a tree. His punch shot rolled to within 12 feet of the hole. Thomas rolled in the birdie putt, and Kuykendall made a triple bogey, giving Thomas a three-shot lead.

“I was kind of in a scramble mindset, so it felt good to calm down finally,” Thomas said.

Thomas worked some more magic on the eighth hole. He hit his tee shot into the right rough where he again found some tree trouble. This time, he hit his approach shot over the tree and stuck it to 2 feet. He tapped in for birdie while Kuykendall bogeyed, extending Thomas’ lead to four.

Thomas and Kuykendall each parred the ninth hole, then Thomas’ putter caught fire. Thomas made a 20-foot putt for birdie on No. 10, a 15-footer for par on the 11th hole, and a sharply breaking 6-foot birdie putt on No. 12.

“I think playing with me was kind of annoying because I made a lot of putts, and they’re like, ‘What the heck?’” Thomas said. “My putter and driver this week really separated me from the field.”

His 2-under final round was just one shot off his first round — one in which he started with three straight birdies and didn’t make his first par until the ninth hole.

Thomas got that first par out of the way on No. 1 on Wednesday, and he made just one bogey after the third hole.

“This was definitely a calmer round than yesterday,” Thomas said.

Over the two-day tournament, Thomas made 12 birdies and seven bogeys.

“That’s unheard of for me,” Thomas said. “I birdied every third hole, which is weird to say. You would think I’d be 9- or 10-under with those numbers.”

Thomas was quite specific when asked to rate his play on a scale of 1 to 10.

“Even though I shot 5-under, I feel like if I had somewhat of a short game, I probably could have gotten to around 8-under,” Thomas said. “I’ll take 5-under though. I’ll give it an 8.6 out of 10.”

This marks Thomas’ second Little People’s title. His other came in the 9-10 division in 2015, a tournament shortened to one round by rain.

“This win really validated it,” Thomas said. “It helped me feel like, ‘OK, I can really win this thing.’”

It’s a good sendoff for Thomas as he heads to Maryville University this fall.

“I’m just happy to win here for the last time,” Thomas said. “It really helps the ego, not going to lie.”

Canton’s Trevor Biggerstaff chips onto the green during Wednesday’s round in the boys 16-18 division of the Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships at Spring Lake Country Club. | Shane Hulsey photo

Another state-qualifying golfer from northeast Missouri got his final — and in his case, only — chance to play in the Little People’s. Canton graduate Trevor Biggerstaff shot a 1-over 73 on Wednesday, a four-shot improvement from Tuesday that helped him finish sixth.

“I did play better than yesterday, that’s for sure,” Biggerstaff said.

Biggerstaff and Thomas played three tournaments together during their time in high school, and Biggerstaff qualified for state all four years, so Thomas was surprised to see Biggerstaff tied for eighth and eight shots off the lead after day one.

But after Biggerstaff birdied the first two holes and eagled the sixth hole on Wednesday, Thomas knew that was more like the Biggerstaff he was used to seeing.

“I didn’t see his name the first day, and I thought it was weird,” Biggerstaff said. “Then today right when I pulled (the leaderboard) up, I saw his name, and I was like, ‘There he is. He’s going back at it again.’”

While Biggerstaff hoped for a better finish, he thoroughly enjoyed his time playing in the Little People’s.

“It’s really cool,” Biggerstaff said. “I don’t know why I’ve never played in it before. I’ve always kind of wanted to but never did. I like the course, too.”

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