NSA loses first golf match

Published 10:30pm Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s golf team experienced its first loss of the season on a cold and cloudy Tuesday against Greenbrier Christian Academy at Sleepy Hole Golf Course.

After winning the state championship last year, the Saints had picked up this season where they left off with two initial wins. But yesterday, the Gators tallied a score of 156 to the Saints’ 159, and Greenbrier Christian freshman Alston Newsome was the medalist on the day, shooting a 1-under-par 35.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy senior captain Stuart Brazil hits his way out of a patch of trees during a cold Tuesday afternoon match against Greenbrier Christian Academy at Sleepy Hole Golf Course. The Gators handed the Saints their first loss of the season, 156-159.
Nansemond-Suffolk Academy senior captain Stuart Brazil hits his way out of a patch of trees during a cold Tuesday afternoon match against Greenbrier Christian Academy at Sleepy Hole Golf Course. The Gators handed the Saints their first loss of the season, 156-159.

Because of the weather and the Gators’ ability, NSA head coach Katie Murphy was unsurprised the match was decided by such a narrow margin.

“I knew coming into it, it was going to be a tight one,” she said. “Obviously, with the cold conditions, I figured it could go either way, and it just kind of went in Greenbrier Christian’s favor, but they’re a good team. They played very well.”

Murphy is aware of areas where her players can improve, but she was not disappointed by how they played.

“Obviously, with the weather, the practice schedule has been sporadic,” she said. “I think as we get more warmer weather, they’re going to improve. They’re disappointed, but at the same time, it was a great match.”

Sophomore Keith Cooper and junior Trey Wren led the Saints, both scoring 39s.

“They’re just steady,” Murphy said. “They play to their strengths, fairways and greens. Even when they mishit a shot, they are experienced. They’re two of my older guys and they know how to calm themselves down and just put a good number on. They know how to think their way around a golf course. I won’t say they did anything remotely different from any of the others. They’re both very good, and both know how to score.”

Sophomore Will Comer hit a 40, freshman Thomas Meyers hit a 41, senior Stuart Brazil had a score of 44 and sophomore Zach Roberts ended up with a 45 to round out NSA’s total.

“It was two of the better teams in the conference battling it out, so I can’t say it was a bad day,” Murphy said. “Overall, it was a good learning curve, I think.”

Drawing from her years of experience at Nansemond-Suffolk and the College of William & Mary, Murphy related the challenge that playing in low temperatures poses to players.

“Obviously, it’s cold and everybody’s going to get tight and be a little nervous,” she said. “When you get cold, your joints start hurting a little bit. When your hands get cold, it can sting, hitting the ball at times.”

In cooler circumstances like the one the Saints faced on Tuesday, Murphy tells her team, “‘Don’t try and overpower the golf course. Let’s go out there and think our way around it, and just hit smart shots and play smart golf.’”

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy travels to play Christchurch School next Thursday at the Piankatank River Golf Club in Hartfield.

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