Warriors going lower

Published 8:24 pm Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nansemond River’s Harris Fischer watches his par putt come up just short on No. 17 at Sleepy Hole Golf Course Tuesday afternoon. The Warriors beat Lakeland 302-442. Nansemond River (5-0) shot its lowest team score of the season.

Nansemond River seniors Shanice Mason and Travis Johnson each shot even-par 72s to lead the Warriors to their fifth straight victory and their lowest team score of the season, a 302-442 win over Lakeland at Sleepy Hole Golf Course on Tuesday.

Earlier in the season, also at Sleepy Hole, NR head coach Craig Stephenson implored his golfers to finish rounds just as well as they started them.

Mason and Johnson fired brilliant back nines, with Mason shooting a 33 made up of three birdies and six pars and Johnson shooting a 34 for his last nine.

Nansemond River senior Shanice Mason watches her approach shot to No. 17 at Sleepy Hole Golf Course on Tuesday. Mason birdied No. 17 for her fifth birdie of the round and she finished with an even-par 72. Nansemond River (5-0) beat Lakeland 302-442.

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Johnson made the turn with a two-over 38 before making birdies on three of his first four holes on the back nine.

Mason made five birdies, starting with both par fives on the front side, Nos. 2 and 5.

Mason kept rolling the birdies in, while eliminating the rough holes on the back nine. She birdied the par-four No. 11, long par-three No. 16 and par-four No. 17.

“I was away during the summer, so I was a little behind with my golf,” Mason said. She spent most of her summer at a dance academy in Maine. During the school year, Mason attends Nansemond River and the Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk.

“I’ve been putting in a lot of practice and I think I’m getting back to the rhythm I’m used to being in,” Mason said.

“My putting had been off, but it was pretty good today,” she said.

Mason put herself into spots to make putts with accurate middle-to-short iron shots, such as on No. 17 with a 110-yard shot to eight feet from the hole where she made a three.

Bryce Strong and Griffin Genier each carded 79s to give the Warriors (5-0) its best match score of the season by seven shots. Evan Norris shot a 95 to lead the Cavaliers (0-4).

All of the Southeastern District squads playing at Sleepy Hole played through the earthquake that was centered in central Virginia at 1:51 p.m.

King’s Fork head coach Calvin Mitchell said his players were on holes 14 and 15 when they felt the quake.

At least the Bulldogs got this match in. Last Thursday, King’s Fork and Lakeland were “smoked out” of a match set for Elizabeth Manor Country Club in Portsmouth due to the Great Dismal Swamp fire. The Bulldogs and Cavaliers haven’t set a date to makeup the match.

King’s Fork fell to Hickory 331-384. Griffen Saylor shot an 87 to lead the Bulldogs (1-3). Hickory’s Phillip Gaskins was the medalist with a 78.

Hopefully without smoke, earthquakes or the approaching hurricane, all three Suffolk squads will be on the links again Wednesday at Nansemond River Golf Course. The Warriors meet the Bulldogs and Lakeland plays against Western Branch.