Corinth Holders used its depth, picking up key scores from its third, fifth and sixth golfers to win the 2A mideast regional boys golf championship Monday at Riverwood Golf Club.
The Pirates finished at 232, 19 shots ahead of fellow Northern Carolina 2A Conference member Bunn. Carrboro (343) claimed the final state championship team qualifying spot. Six scores in the 80s were enough to get the win for Corinth Holders, which was unbeaten in league matches this season.
Corinth Holders’ fifth and sixth seeded golfers, Will Stanley and Brandon Corbitt, shared their team’s best score on the day with matching 80s. Monty Fields added an 81 and Nick Routhier shot 82. An 85 from Sam Baxter and an 89 from Kellen Labonte rounded out the team scoring.
“Our No. 3, 5 and 6 men came through for us today,” said Corinth Holders coach Theresa Gale. “Our top two guys didn’t have their best rounds today, but we got consistent scores across the board.”
Managing the changing weather conditions – there was a 25-minute weather delay during the round – made scoring on the hilly course even tougher.
“I would hit a high shot and a some of the balls would plug in the fairway,” Corbett said. “The greens were slow when it was raining and fast when it wasn’t. They were just hard to judge all day.”
Roanoke Rapids golfer Ryan Barrett was the individual medalist with a 74. He qualified as an individual along with Providence Grove’s Cody Ruth and Randleman’s Donald Johnson.
The 2A state championships will be held Monday and Tuesday at Longleaf near Pinehurst.
South Johnston freshman is 3A runner up: South Johnston freshman Patrick Stephenson continued his stellar debut season with a second place finish in the 3A eastern regional championship at Jacksonville Country Club. Stephenson carded a round of 1-over-par, 73, the same as regional champion Reggie Crews of Jacksonville.
Crews, a senior playing on a very familiar hometown layout, prevailed in the one-hole playoff with a par, but Stephenson wasn’t disappointed for long with the playoff loss since he’d reached his only goal of the day: a state championship berth.
“Putting was the key today, I made a lot of putts,” Stephenson said. “My iron game was on as well. … My goal was just to get to states today. I figured if I shot 75, I’d have a chance to do that today.”
Stephenson caught his approach on the first hole a little heavy, left it short of the green and made bogey, while Crews hit his approach to within 10 feet and two-putted for the playoff win.
Play on the par 5s was a trouble spot for the left-handed South Johnston freshman. He bogeyed three of them on the day, all after hitting bad tee shots.
However, Stephenson has been a model of consistency this season. He didn’t have a score of higher than 78 during Eastern Carolina 3A Conference play this season, posting a 74.1 scoring average.
“It’s all been about practicing the same way and keeping working hard,” Stephenson said. “If I keep a consistent golf swing, your results are going to be consistent.”
Currituck took the regional team title at 319, a shot ahead of Greenville Conley. West Brunswick got the final team state berth with a 332 total.
Cleveland tied for eighth in the regional, with Bryson Peter’s 82 leading the Rams. Patrick Schweitz added an 83 and Jared Lisec shot 87.
3A Mideast regional postponed: The 3A mideast regional, featuring Cardinal Gibbons, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough Orange among others, was postponed because of weather and will be played Thursday at Deep Springs Golf and Country Club in Stoneville. It was one of seven regional championships postponed, with the other six on the western side of the state.
Correspondent Jay Mumford contributed to this report.