FUQUAY-VARINA — Green Hope played in two invitational tournaments, and it taught the members of the boys’ golf team a valuable lesson. If they wanted to join the program’s five previous state championship teams, they’d have to get a lot better.
“Broughton and Leesville Road, they were both doing really good. It showed us how much we need to improve to be as good as them,” freshman Kevin Wiles said.
And so they have, as the rest of the Tri-9 Conference has learned.
Seven matches into the conference slate, Green Hope leads its league peers. Wednesday’s win at Crooked Creek Golf Club was the fifth time it had finished first or tied for first.
Athens Drive is the only team within shot of the conference title. The Jaguars have not finished lower than tied for second all season and are the only group to take first besides Green Hope.
“We just knew we had to step up our game if we wanted to make a run for the state title this year,” said Green Hope sophomore James Mishoe.
Thirteen players shot 40 or lower on Wednesday, and Green Hope had four of them.
Mishoe and Wiles led the way by each shooting 36, good enough for co-medalist honors.
Mishoe’s 36.7 strokes per nine-hole average leads the conference.
“I really hit it good today. I didn’t really make any mistakes and I guess when I hit a couple close I made them,” Mishoe said.
Green Hope’s team score of 149 bested Athens Drive and Lee County, which each shot 159. Holly Springs (168) and Apex (169) followed next.
The Tri-9 season has moved along fast. Rarely are this many matches played before Good Friday.
And warm weather hasn’t shown up for any of those seven matches, affecting everyone’s play.
“The kids have got on so much stuff they can hardly swing,” said Green Hope coach Mike Robinson.
There are two matches left after spring break – April 8 at MacGregor Downs Country Club and April 24 at Brier Creek. The 18-hole conference tournament will be hosted at MacGregor on April 29.
Blake: 919-460-2606; On Twitter: @JMBpreps