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Naugle tops Missouri Amateur Qualifier 110-man field and wins KC Classic


Nixa’s Noah Naugle collected a pair of first-place finishes last week to get his summer golf schedule off to an exceptional start.

Naugle placed first in the Missouri Amateur qualifier Monday at Twin Oaks Golf Course with a five-under 66. He topped a field of 110 entrants.

He followed up by winning the Missouri Golf Association’s Kansas City Classic championship at Paradise Pointe Golf Complex in Smithville. He won a sudden-death playoff on the first hole after shooting a two-day total of one-over 145.

All this after Naugle became Nixa’s first State medalist by finishing 12th at the Class 5 State Tournament in May.

“Across the board,” Naugle said of the areas of his game he’s seen improvement. “Everything has gotten better. My chipping has gotten better. My mental game has gotten better. My putting has gotten better. My course management has gotten better.

“In 2024, I've been way more consistent, and I'm competing for a lot more tournament (championships) because of that,” he added. “In the past, I would have one really good round, but two bad rounds would take me out of it.”

Naugle has reached new heights while lowering his standards somewhat.

“I've matured a little bit,” he said. “When I was younger, I had to birdie every hole. I've realized pars are good and birdies will come. I'm not aiming at the flag and pulling a driver out on every hole. I've always hit it far (off the tee box), but I've learned to hit it straighter and keep it in play.”

By keeping his drives in the fairway, Naugle has repeatedly set himself up for success.

“My strength is my iron play,” he said. “If I can hit 8-10 fairways a round, I'm going to be in good shape and have good birdie looks from there.”

On the greens, Naugle is no longer adjusting to the feel of a new putter. He’s remained loyal to his Odyssey Jailbird going on two months.

“I had to face the realization it's not the putter that is the problem,” Naugle said. “Before, I switched putters all the time. I've kind of ditched that.

“The biggest thing with me is confidence when I'm looking down,” he added. “I've worked on putting fundamentals with my coach and worked a lot on reading greens.”

Naugle is taking part in the MGA’s Junior Match Play Championship this week at the Mules National Golf Club in Warrensburg.

He will compete in the Missouri Amateur June 25-30 at the St. Joseph Country Club. He made his Missouri Amateur debut a year ago at Payne’s Valley Golf Course in Branson and missed out qualifying for match play by one stroke by carding a five-over 149 over two rounds of stroke play.

He was one of only six high school players in the tournament. This year, he will be one of 10 preps in the field.

“It was disappointing, but a good learning experience,” Naugle said. “There were so many college players and good amateur players, I was a little nervous. I played fine. This year, my game has changed dramatically and I'm excited to compete.”