Green Hope left no doubt in the Southwest Wake Athletic boys’ golf tournament Tuesday at WildWood Green Golf Club. En route to the team’s sixth straight conference championship, all six of its players shot a 77 or lower over the course’s 18 holes.
The tournament is part of the conference regular season, counting for double the amount of points as a nine-hole regular-season match. Green Hope was leading the conference by five points before its tournament title.
The Falcons shot 286, nine strokes better than runner-up Panther Creek (295).
“If we play like we’re capable of playing, we’re capable of making it through regionals and onto states,” Green Hope coach Mike Robinson said. “We have the talent and the depth to do it.”
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Green Hope’s Rob McPartland won the league’s player of the year award for having the lowest nine-hole average (36.5).
McPartland, a junior, just missed last year’s all-conference team. During the offseason, he said he learned how to handle bad shots better and how to not compound mistakes.
“I was a bit of a head case last year,” McPartland said. “Mentally, I really helped myself out. And I worked on my short game. It was all about my short game this year. That was my savior.”
He went back-and-forth with Panther Creek’s Viraj Garewel for player of the year honors all season, to the point where whichever player did better in the tournament likely would win the award.
On Monday, Garewel shot a 72 and McPartland a 71.
“I enjoyed every second of it,” McPartland said of battling Garewel. “Viraj is a great player. I just went out there and played my game. If that wasn’t enough, then so be it. I tried to keep it out of my head.”
Middle Creek sophomore Austin Bonfiglo was the tournament medalist with 70. Bonfiglo was the only player to shoot par on the day to help the Mustangs lock up their first regional berth.
“The course was playing OK,” Bonfiglo said. “I made a couple of birdies, a couple of bogeys. I enjoyed it.”
The top four teams in the final standings will move on to next week’s 4A Mideast Regional at Raleigh Country Club: Green Hope, runner-up Panther Creek, third-place Middle Creek and fourth-place Athens Drive. The regional also will include the Cap-8 and Greater Neuse River .
Also heading to regionals will be the top four individuals not on one of the four qualifying teams: Fuquay-Varina’s Thomas Williams and Justin Haire, Apex’s Matt Accordino and Holly Springs’ R.J. Reyes.