Warriors, Bulldogs in mix for regional spots

Published 11:21 pm Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Nansemond River is in fifth place, two spots and 18 shots out of qualifying for the Eastern Region Golf Tournament after Tuesday at the Southeastern District Golf Tournament at Sleepy Hole Golf Course.

Tuesday’s round was the first of two. After Wednesday’s play, the top two teams during the regular season, Grassfield and Western Branch, and the next-highest finishing team in the tournament will go on to regionals. The seven best golfers not on a team that qualifies will go on to the Eastern Region Tournament as individuals.

Nansemond River finished the regular season with a 5-4 record in the district and got four steady rounds out of its four top golfers. Nicole Hemmis led the Warriors with an eight-over par 80. Travis Johnson shot 81. Shanice Mason and Gene Hong both shot 85 to make NR’s total 331.

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Western Branch led after Tuesday with a team total of 305. Great Bridge and Grassfield are tied at 313, meaning that through Tuesday, Great Bridge would take the third team berth.

Grassfield’s Brad Kennan led the field on Tuesday with a one-under par round of 71. Kennan shot 34 on Sleepy Hole’s front nine.

King’s Fork’s Andrew Cospelich shot 80, and along with Hemmis, are the top golfers from Suffolk schools through round one. Both Cospelich and Hemmis were close to the cut line for the individual spots into the regional tournament.

“I did all right, if it wasn’t for 18,” said Cospelich, “but I thought I played pretty well.” Cospelich was one-over par through eight holes on the back nine before making double-bogey on No. 18. Cospelich birdied the par-five 13th hole after reaching the green in two.

Sleepy Hole was been a frequent spot for all three Suffolk teams during the season, and Cospelich said he was confident he could shoot lower on Wednesday.

“I just have to go out and do my best and post a good score,” said Cospelich.

In the case of Hemmis and Mason, they are looking forward to another postseason tournament, the VHSL State Girls Open Golf Championship and Wednesday could be an important day for that goal.

Girls can qualify directly into the VHSL State Girls Open by making the regional tournament, which Hemmis and Mason are in range of. If not, Hemmis and/or Mason would have to go through a qualifying event to reach the VHSL State Girls Open.

The VHSL State Girls Open will be held at Kempsville Greens Golf Course in Virginia Beach Oct. 26-27.