The Zebulon Country Club boys team faces an unfamiliar situation heading into the second match of the Eastern N.C. Junior Golf League season.
For the first time in a long time, the four-time defending regular-season champs are chasing first place rather than running away with it. Zebulon finished second to the Willow Springs Country Club boys team on the Wilson course in the league opener Tuesday.
The low round in each age division earns 4 points for the player’s team, and so on, with 1 point awarded for the fourth-best score. Every golfer, the top-4 included, earns a half-point for completing a round. Each team designates a 12-player roster that determines team scoring for each match.
In boys action, Willow Springs holds a 26-17.5 advantage over Zebulon, with teams from Wendell Country Club (11.5 points) and The River Golf and Country Club of Louisburg (2.5) also giving chase.
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Willow Springs also leads the girls standings with 7 team points, followed by The River (4.5), Zebulon (3.5) and Wendell (2.5).
Zebulon’s Mason Horton shot 48 Tuesday to claim first place in the 12-13 boys division. Local golfers dominated the 14-15 boys group with Wendell golfers Matthew Hayes (35) and Justin Poole (39) claiming first and second, respectively, and Zebulon’s Peyton Windley finishing third with a score of 40.
Zebulon’s Blake McShea shot the low round of the day, a 34 that was also good for first among the 16-18 boys. His teammate William Lewis (38) came in fourth in the age group.
In the 14-18 girls division, Zebulon’s Emily Stallings placed second with her round of 54. Wendell’s Hannah Finch and Lori Tripp fired matching rounds of 56 to tie for fourth.
Other local golfers’ scores from Tuesday are as follows:
10-11 Boys: Wendell’s Sam Sollinger carded a 72.
12-13 Boys: Zebulon’s Robert Henderson shot 53 and his teammate Chance Puckett turned in a round of 60. Wendell golfers Hunter Best and Davis Clemmons each shot 56 and Baker Lee shot 58.
14-15 Boys: Wendell’s Reed Miller fired a 46, followed by teammates Eric Sunderland (54) and Mason Hale (56). For Zebulon, Ryan Moss shot 54, Evan Bunn 58 and Julian Vereen 65.
16-18 Boys: Zebulon’s Brian Bowden posted a 51 and Wendell’s Justin Tart a 55.
14-18 Girls: Wendell’s Skyler Pritchett carded a 58.
Birchwood Country Club is scheduled to host the second match of the season this coming Tuesday, June 24. All matches are 9 holes and begin at 9 a.m.