SMAC sends six to state golf tourney, three from Charles
The Northern golf train just keeps rolling along and it collected yet another accolade on Tuesday when it won the District IV championship at Breton Bay Golf & Country Club in Leonardtown.
The Patriots won the tournament with a team score of 310, well ahead of runner-up Huntingtown (339) and third-place finisher North Point (353).
“That’s what we want to do, just keep rolling,” said Northern head coach Mickey Norfolk, whose team finished the regular season with an unblemished 13-0 record and also claimed the Calvert County tournament. “I know we’re capable of shooting that and even better, to be honest with you. That’s the golfer’s mantra that we always know we can do better so very proud of them. Our goal was to shoot at least 332 to get to states because our goal is to get to the University of Maryland every year, and if we don’t do that, I’m disappointed.”
Northern was also the only Southern Maryland Athletic Conference team to qualify for the state tournament, which will be held Oct. 24 to 26 at the University of Maryland College Park. Teams needed to shoot 332 or less to qualify.
“I am surprised,” Norfolk said of just one SMAC team qualify for the state tournament. “I would have thought that Huntingtown and North Point, especially would have been up there, but a course can do funny things to anybody. You can shoot a 74 one day and a 104 the next and that’s the inevitability of golf.”
The Patriots received a 2-over-par 74 from Johnna Parlett, who tied with Huntingtown’s William Garrett for the low score of the day.
“I was consistent with everything and I kept my emotions intact,” said Parlett, who had two birdies.
Matt Thomson and Elizabeth Coffren each finished with 78 and Tyler Potts was two strokes back.
“It could have been so much better,” Potts said of his round. “I shanked the ball twice, made a lot of stupid mistakes. Overall, I’m not pleased with my score, but it was good enough to get [to states]. Definitely my approach shots could be a lot closer to the pin. One of the positive things that came out of my round was my driving.”
The SMAC also had six golfers qualify as individuals. Boys needed to shoot 82 or less and girls needed a 91 or better to make the cut on the 6,055yard course.
Garrett said he struggled with his putting throughout the day, though he did make two birdies.
“I had a lot of putts; I just couldn’t make them really,” he said. “I had about 8 to 10 putts within 10 to 12 feet and I didn’t make any of them, and they were all for birdies. I just gave up on my putting because the greens were aerated. I [had a good day because I] hit most of the greens in regulation and I made pars.”
Trent Tyer of North Point finished with an 80 to make the cut.
“I had a solid day. I wouldn’t say it was one of my best days, I wouldn’t say it was one of my worst days,” Tyer said. “I had a few shots I wish I could get back, but I just felt good out there and had fun and stayed relaxed. With the thought of states being on the line and that pressure in your head you have to stay relaxed and just trust your stuff. You can’t go out there and stay tentative over every single shot.”
Chopticon’s Josh Gatton also shot an 80 to punch his ticket to Maryland.
“It was actually surprisingly very good,” said Gatton, who finished with 11 pars and is a member of the Breton Bay course. “I knew I had to hit the ball solid. I went [to states] last year for experience, [but this year] I’m going to focus a lot more and take it a lot more seriously.”
La Plata will send two golfers to states after Tyler Jackson shot an 81 and Savannah Maddox finished a stroke back.
“I had a lot of good shots,” said Jackson, a freshman, who added the key was “putting, a lot of good second shots and just staying focused.”
Northern’s Jack Dege qualified as an individual after shooting an 82. Tyer said putting will be key at Maryland. “The University of Maryland golf course greens are fast and very difficult, so I’d like to work on putting a lot,” he said. “Hopefully I can roll in a few putts at SMAC [at 9 a.m. Monday at Chesapeake Hills Golf Curse] and gain some confidence going into states. It feels pretty good to make it independently.”
Tyer said he needs to “stay in the fairway off the tee and make a lot of putts.”
I’m really excited,” Parlett said. “[The key will be] being consistent as always and making sure I have a good time.
Norfolk said while his team’s attention will be on the conference tournament, it’s clear what his team needs to do in order to be successful at Maryland.
“We’re going to need good approach shots, solid contact and for high school kids keeping their minds straight,” he said. “I’m probably more proud that Matt and Tyler shot 78 and 80 [respectively] and said they played terrible and didn’t hit the ball well and I said, ‘That’s the sign of a good golfer. You don’t have to hit the ball like a PGA professional to shoot a low score. You need to manage the game you have that day and if they can do that, I’ll be proud of them.”
Lackey’s Alannah Milstead drives toward the green Tuesday during the District IV tournament.