Sleepy Hole tests region’s best

Published 5:23 pm Monday, October 5, 2009

With gusty wind, tough pin placements and playing from the blue tees, Sleepy Hole Golf Course proved how tough it can be even against the best high school golfers in the Eastern Region on Monday in the first round of the Eastern Region Tournament.

In seasons’ past, leading scores have often been in the high 60s for regional tournaments or junior tournaments with large fields at Sleepy Hole. On Monday, four even-par 72s topped the leaderboard with Tuesday’s final round to go.

The Beach District is in charge at the halfway point. Cox’s Moss Clark and Chris Valianos, Kellam’s Alex Lloyd and First Colonial’s Andrew McCracken each shot 72. With a team score of 300 (+12), Cox leads Kellam by eight strokes and First Colonial by 21.

The top two teams go on to the VHSL Group AAA State Tournament at The Waterfront Country Club at Smith Mountain Lake. The next six golfers not on the two state-qualifying teams make the state tournament as individual players.

Nansemond River’s Travis Johnson leads the three Suffolk golfers with a 12-over 84. King’s Fork’s Andrew Cospelich shot 88 and Nansemond River’s Nicole Hemmis shot 95. Through Monday, the cut line for individuals reaching the state tournament was 76.

“Frustrating, it was a long day,” said Johnson.

Johnson said all of the pins were put in tough spots and playing from the blue tees was a major difference. Nansemond River and all of the Southeastern District schools had multiple meets at Sleepy Hole this season, but all of the rounds were from the white tees. Sleepy Hole goes from 5,950 yards to 6,566 yards with the change in tees.

“Every hole changes a lot. On 18, it’s 50 yards longer. It just makes everything harder,” said Johnson, who shot 40 on the front nine, his second nine of the day.

Play continues at 9 a.m. Tuesday at Sleepy Hole Golf Course.