SMAC sends six to state golf tour­ney, three from Charles

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com

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.”

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID

Lackey’s Alan­nah Milstead drives to­ward the green Tues­day dur­ing the Dis­trict IV tour­na­ment.

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