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The wind whipped across Eagle Creek Country Club’s golf course, but Zach Wright was able to manage his game.
Wright, junior at Grant County High School, bounced back from a slow start to shoot a 71 at Eagle Creek to earn first place at the regional tournament on Sept. 27. With first place, Wright will advance to the state tournament at the Bowling Green Country Club on Oct. 6. Wright also played in the state tournament the past two seasons.
“It feels great,” Wright said. “It’s been my goal all year and I knew I could do it, but it takes coming out here and playing. Now, I want to make the cut at state and I want to set my goal high. I want to finish in the top 10 at state. I have to play well and concentrate.”
The wind affected Wright, as he sat at four over after five holes, but he responded by getting birdies on the sixth and seventh holes to get on a roll.
“The tees were moved up and I was able to reach the green in two shots,” Wright said. “I forgot about my start and wanted to play the next couple holes under par. I came out wanting to shoot in the 60’s, but the wind was blowing so hard that I said 73 or lower. The wind was a huge factor. It affected every shot. But this gives me a lot of confidence now that I know I’m going to state.”
Wright and his teammates were hoping to advance to state as a team, but finished fourth. Fortunately, they return all of their golfers for next year and are excited for the talent they have returning.
“I know they gave everything they had, but having a young team gives us something to look forward to next year,” coach Lance Robinson said. “I’m proud of the way that the team came out and battled.”
Sophomore Tim Livingood shot an 81 for the Braves despite dealing with an eye injury on the 14th hole. Seventh grader Cody Kellam was one of the youngest golfers in the field and shot an 89. Juniors Matt Ferguson and Garrett Madden rounded out the Braves’ team, shooting a 94 and a 103, respectively.
“These players are going to get out and work to get better,” Robinson said. “The saying is that the future’s so bright, that you’ve got to wear shades. I think we’ll be ready for next year.”
Williamstown’s boys’ team was led by sophomore Sean Moreland, who shot an 86, and the team finished 12th. Sophomore Brian Barker shot a career best 91 in his first year playing for the Demons. He was followed by Dean Faulkner (102), Nick Switzer (111) and Landon Good (139).
“I played pretty well, but with the windy conditions, it made it a lot harder to score,” Moreland said. “When I hit my irons, it affected my shots a lot because the wind would take my shots, but I think this was a good experience that we can learn from.”
“We finished the season strong,” Binder said. “I think the experience of this year will help the players next year and we’ll be stronger. I’d like to see the short game improve on a couple players because that will help our averages.”