Lucky No. 7
Braves continue mastery at county golf tournament
Chopticon continued its county golf mastery when it cruised to a win in the St. Mary’s County Tournament on Thursday at Wicomico Shores Golf Course in Mechanicsville.
The Braves (13-2 overall), who finished in third place in the dual match season at 11-2, cruised to a 27-stroke win with a team score of 351. Chopticon placed three golfers — Ben Fowler, DJ Littleford and Josh Gatton — within the top-5.
The county win was the seventh straight for Chopticon and the team score was its second-highest during that span after the 364 it shot last year. The Braves shot between 310 and 334 the previous five seasons.
“It’s a good win,” Chopticon head coach Cameron Beckner said. “Some of our players didn’t play the best, but it’s nice to get the win. A lot of my guys have been up and down this year, [but] today they were focused and they knew this was the first 18-hole course [of the postseason] so they knew they had to play well.”
Leonardtown (7-8) was led by individual county champion Ryan Sohne’s 6-over-par 78, but placed second with a team score of 378. The Raiders are the last team to win the tournament before Chopticon’s seven-year reign, winning the 2010 event with a team score of 308.
“I would say I’m pleased,” Leonardtown first-year head coach Kevin McCarthy said. “How can I not be pleased with some of the scores they put up? I have to give out a shout out to the entire team. Unfortunately as the season’s winding down, our team we’re really hitting our stride right now.”
The Hornets (7-8) placed third with a team score of 396.
“I felt they put in a good attempt to do well today,” Great Mills head coach Treva Eversole said. “They had a good week of practice and they really progressed through the year. I thought Choption and Leonardtown did a really good job and had some good scores.”
Sohne claimed the top overall finish thanks in large part to a consistent round, which included a 38 on the front-nine and a
40 on the last nine holes.
“He shot lights out,” McCarthy said. “I think it had to do a lot with how he’s been really focused on his game right now. The hard work he’s been putting into practice through the week has been really coming into place come match time.”
Sohne was unable to be reached for comment.
Fowler (81) and Littleford (82) placed second and third overall, respectively.
“I struggled at first, but got it all together and started playing really well,” said Fowler, who was 1-over on the back nine. “I struggled on the front so that really helped my score a lot.”
Fowler was also helped by a birdie on the 475-yard par-5 No. 15.
“I started out with a really good drive and then hit a 6-iron in,” he said. “I putted for eagle, left it short but tapped in for birdie.”
Littleford pencilled in a 39 on the front nine, but was four strokes higher on the second half.
“No, not one bit,” he said when asked if he was pleased with his round. “I shot lower than last year, but I didn’t play anywhere near to where I could. I played very bad today, I didn’t play decent one bit. I had two very bad holes that I wanted to take back (triple bogeys on No. 7 and 12). I went [out of bounds] on one and had some wayward shots on the other, but wedge [shots] helped a lot [to shoot low].”
“We’ve been pretty focused the past couple weeks,” Backner said. “Having that close match (the Braves lost by six to Northern on Sept. 13) put us on the radar saying we are pretty good.”
After Sohne came Jack Dugan with a 98, while Ryan Ahern and Will Kurtz each shot 100.
Great Mills was led by Josh Almond, who placed fourth overall with an 87, along with Matthew Eagan (96), Connor Eagan (101) and Zackary Russell (112).
“He’s only been playing since August and he’s just grown by leaps and bounds and he’s out there scoring with some of the top players who have been playing for a few years,” Ever- sole said of Russell. “I’m very pleased with his progress.”
The teams played in the District IV tournament on Tuesday at Breton Bay Golf & Country Club in Leonardtown with the SMAC tournament scheduled for next week at White Plains Golf Course.
The Chopticon golf team of Ben Cory, left, Garrett Pulliam, Ben Fowler, Josh Gatton, DJ Littleford, Ben D’Angelo and led by head coach Cameron Beckner shot a 351 to win the St. Mary’s County tournament on Thursday at Wicomico Shores Golf Course in Mechanicsville.
Chopticon’s Ben Fowler blasts out of a sand trap on his way to an 81, three strokes behind the individual champion, at the St. Mary’s County tournament on Thursday at Wicomico Shores Golf Course in Mechanicsville.
Leonardtown’s Jack Dugan sends a shot toward the flag on his way to a 98 at the St. Mary’s County tournament on Thursday at Wicomico Shores Golf Course in Mechanicsville. Dugan fired a 46 on the back nine to finish second on the team.
Great Mills’ Matthew Eagan chips toward the pin on his way to a score of 96 at the St. Mary’s County tournament on Thursday at Wicomico Shores Golf Course in Mechanicsville.