Lucky No. 7

Braves con­tinue mas­tery at county golf tour­na­ment

The Enterprise - - Sports - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com

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.

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID

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.

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