Braves place third at districts
Five county golfers off to states
North Point freshman Bailey Davis received about as good an omen as one could ask for in advance of the District IV golf tournament Tuesday at Breton Bay Golf & Country Club in Leonardtown.
Davis won the tournament by a stroke when she carded an even-par 71 on the 5,022yard women’s course.
“I was pretty consistent the entire time, no truly bad holes which I think kept me steady,” said Davis, who was the top finisher in the Charles County tournament with a 69. “I mostly stayed even almost the entire time, but I could have made more putts. I was pretty close, but they just weren’t dropping, but I wasn’t too stressed about it.”
“She started the season kind of slow, but she adjusted to the pace of play and she’s come out real well,” said North Point head coach Chuck Skinner, who first saw Davis play when she shot a 35 in a practice round. “I’m happy that she’s coming to a good crescendo now [in the postseason].”
And that omen? Just a hole-in-one during a practice round at Breton Bay last Saturday when she aced the 115yard, par-3 No. 5.
“I stepped up with my 50 wedge and I took two practice swings and was like ‘No,’ so I went back to my bag and got my pitching wedge and shortened up my swing and it went in,” said Davis, who is also the setter on the Eagles’ varsity volleyball team. “I was so excited. Today I was like, ‘I’m probably not going to get another one,’ but I parred [that hole] so it was good.”
“A couple of guys were playing, so they let her play through and then [after she made the shot] they were, ‘Well that was quick,’” Skinner said. “That was kind of cool, but I was chastising her about wasting a hole-in-one.”
Northern (304) won the team title and qualified for the Class 4A-3A state tournament after finishing 33 strokes ahead of runner-up Huntingtown.
“It’s a hard game to play and you never know or can’t count on what you did last week or yesterday, so it’s great for them to come out and work hard,” Northern head coach Mickey Norfolk said. “I’m proud of the team. We had some goals and we set them up to do well today and they hung with it. It’s always nice to go to the [state tournament at the] University of Maryland.”
Northern was led by its foursome of Eddie Coffren — who was a shot back of Davis at 82 — as well as Johnna Parlett (73), Elizabeth Coffren (76) and Andrew Younkers (83).
“I played pretty good today,” said Eddie Coffren, a freshman. “I had some two- and
three-putts, but overall my ball striking was better and my drives off the tee were good. I didn’t worry about the pressure or anything, I just played golf.”
“Considering how I shot on the first hole I felt like I kept my emotions in check and I did fairly well,” Parlett said of starting off with a double-bogey. “Maybe it was nerves, but after that I just calmed down and played my game.”
More headed to states
The Hurricanes will send Cade Nichols (78) and Akhil Patel (86), who qualified for the girls, to the state tournament.
“I was hitting the driver pretty well and the 3-wood, so I was happy with that,” said Nichols, who played two practice rounds at Breton Bay. “I knew I needed to stay in it [mentally] and work on the shot in front of me.”
Chopticon (338) placed third overall and qualified three golfers for the state tournament; DJ Littleford and Josh Gatton (78) and Ben Fowler (79).
“My first nine wasn’t good. I just had a few bad shots and it put me in tough positions, but I just fought through it,” said Gatton, whose best hole was the 376-yard, par-4 No. 12. “I hit a drive down the center of the fairway and my second shot I hit a pitching wedge to the left side of the green and drained a 50-footer for birdie.”
La Plata was fourth with a 340. The Warriors qualified for the Class 2A-1A state tournament thanks to Gavin Ganter (72), Cameron Taylor (84), Lazarus Sutton (89) and Jake Gleason (91).
“We just wanted to try to make birdies, play aggressive the whole day and just like coach said, “Grip it and rip it,’” Ganter said. “I’ve been struggling a little bit this season and haven’t played my best, but I came out strong today.”
North Point (350) and Patuxent (383) finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Leonardtown and Thomas Stone (392) tied for seventh.
“Today was definitely a struggle,” said Leonardtown’s Ryan Sohne, who qualified with an 80. “[It all started] when I started on the wrong hole and had to play catch-up. I don’t think I started to get back into it until No. 6 when I just kind of felt I slowed down, calmed down and changed out my ball.
Great Mills (405) and Calvert (435) were ninth and 10th, respectively, and Lackey, Westlake, and McDonough did not field enough golfers for a team score. St. Charles did not have a team this year.
Not going to states
North Point’s Trent Tyer will not be returning to the state tournament this year thanks to an act of sportsmanship. On hole No. 7, Tyer assessed himself a 2-stroke penalty when during a practice swing he inadvertently ground his club and he missed the cut by a stroke.
“It looked like I was sitting in perfect rough with a perfect lie and a perfect opportunity,” Tyer said. “I was think- ing birdie all the way and then after I took the practice swing and made a little bit of a divot, I looked over and saw the red hazard stake so I called the penalty on myself. There was no doubt I was going to call it. Not at all. The most important thing for me is honesty and keeping my dignity out there so I can go home in good conscience.”
“He called himself out on it and I’m proud of him,” Skinner said. “I would have liked to have seen him go [to states] his senior year, but to me it’s even more mature to make that call. He could have done any number of things, but he did the right thing.”
Chopticon’s Josh Gatton taps in for par on his way to shooting a state-qualifying 78, the same as teammates DJ Littleford and Ben Fowler, at the District IV golf tournament on Tuesday at Breton Bay Golf & Country Club in Leonardtown.
Above left, Leonardtown’s Ryan Sohne sends a shot onto the green on his way to a state-qualifying score of 80. Above right, Jason Almond of Great Mills chips toward the hole on his way to a state-qualifying 77 during the District IV tournament on Tuesday at Breton Bay Golf & Country Club in Leonardtown.