Bulldogs fall, but make strides, on the links

Published 10:21 pm Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nansemond River won its district golf match Thursday afternoon at Sleepy Hole Golf Course while King’s Fork’s team fell against Western Branch, one of the Southeastern District’s usual powers.

Yet, King’s Fork head coach Calvin Mitchell was pleased with how his six Bulldogs played because there was plenty of improvement from KF’s season-opening match Monday to Thursday’s rounds.

The Bulldogs (1-1) shaved 14 strokes off their team total from a victory against Lakeland Monday at Nansemond River Golf Club. With the sport of golf, one could argue that’s all that matters.

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Western Branch (1-0-1) still prevailed by a wide margin, 308-370. The Bruins’ No. 1 golfer, Taylor Dichiara shot even-par 72 to take medalist honors.

Perhaps more important to how the Bulldogs will fare as the season goes along, it was the golfers playing in the bottom spots of Mitchell’s lineup who accounted for the Bulldogs going lower.

Andrew Womack dropped seven strokes from his first round, finishing with a 91. Jordan Gist came in nine shots better, shooting 98 Thursday. Even outside of KF’s top four scorers — the top four scores out of a team’s six players make up the team total for each match — rookie Fletcher Stephens dropped 17 strokes within his first week of playing high school matches.

All six Southeastern schools going around Sleepy Hole played through an odd variety of weather conditions. Normal, humid August sun and heat tested the players early on. By the time the matches reached the back nine, thunderstorms were closing in, with some wind to make the golfers think.

Sophomore Adam Peebles led the Bulldogs again, but he had a really difficult assignment to improve on from Monday’s round as he fired a school-record six-under-par 66 at Nansemond River. Peebles shot two-over 74 Thursday.

Nansemond River (1-0-1) remained undefeated in a practical walkover as Oscar Smith couldn’t field four golfers.

Travis Johnson, NR’s No. 1 golfer, shot 75 to lead NR’s total of 329.

“Travis did a very good job of keeping his round together and staying with it mentally in what was basically a forfeit. With the other kids, I think they probably treated it more like a practice day than a match day,” NR head coach Craig Stephenson said.

Will Hunter’s 83, Griffin Genier’s 85 and Shanice Mason’s 86 completed the Warrior total.

NR faces Great Bridge Tuesday at Portsmouth’s Bide-A-Wee Golf Course and Hickory Thursday at Chesapeake Golf Club. Both matches will go a long way to sorting out the district standings.