Thomas Walsh had already led his team to a milestone victory, and then came up big in a playoff.
Walsh, a High Point Westchester Country Day freshman, shot 1-over-par 73, then survived a three-way playoff for medalist honors in the N.C. High School Invitational on Monday.
The Wildcats shot 313 to beat second-place Broughton by three strokes on the refurbished 7,070-yard layout at Treyburn Country Club, becoming the first team from outside Wake County to win the six-year-old event.
“I just went for the center of the green, and it worked,” Walsh said. “This is definitely my biggest win. I putted really well – I only hit six fairways and nine greens.”
Burlington Williams shot 317 followed by Gastonia Forestview at 318, Kinston Arendell Parrott 321, Asheville Christ School 327, reigning champion Leesville Road 334, Ravenscroft and Durham Trinity School at 343 and Alamance Christian 355.
“It’s a great day,” Westchester coach Adam Schwartz said. “I knew the conditions were tough and the course was playing hard, but I told the kids to keep fighting.”
Invitees included the previous year’s four NCHSAA state championship teams, three NCISAA state championship teams, the champions of the NCCSA, the defending champions, and the Top 25 individuals in the Tarheel Youth Golf Association. Ravenscroft won it in 2009 and 2010.
“Everybody had a hard time reading the brand-new greens,” Broughton coach Anderson Marlowe said. “But we haven’t finished worse than second, so that’s good for a young team.”
The individual playoff was simply repetition of the 18th hole.
Walsh and Williams senior Luke Haithcock each scored par-4 in the first round while Hickory Grove Christian senior Chad Cox bogeyed, and in the second round Walsh made par again while Haithcock bogeyed.
Four players – Leesville Road junior Zach Seabolt, Northern Durham senior Stephen Lavenets, Forsyth Country Day sophomore Ben Schlottman and Cornelius Hough senior David Sargent – tied at 76.
“I tried to limit the damage as best as I could,” Seabolt said. “I had a bunch of bogeys and couldn’t really make a putt.”
Added East Carolina-bound Lavenets, “I doubled No. 11 and had two bogeys and no birdies. I work out here, and I couldn’t make a putt.”
Westchester junior Greg Mauldin was at 77, while Broughton’s best was senior George Kilgore at 78.
“I didn’t hit my driver very well, but I stuck in there,” Kilgore said.
The only female player, Trinity sophomore Alaina Yeatts, shot an 85 after firing 100 last year.
“I played well,” said Yeatts, who said she can drive 215 yards. “An 85 is pretty good for 7,000 yards.”
Leesville Road was missing its best player in junior Carter Jenkins, who was out with a broken wrist.
“Zach played really well, but we struggled around the green a little bit,” Pride coach David Allen said. “We’re still feeling out how we’re going to play.”