Laney golf clinches conference title behind Young’s even-par effort

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With temperatures hovering in the low 70s and a steady breeze throughout much of Tuesday’s round, Laney High School’s Samuel Young fired an even-par 72 on the 6,166 yard layout at Magnolia Greens to help guide the Bucs to a Mideastern Conference Championship.

The final results from Tuesday were doubled as the combined team scores from the season were compiled to determine this year’s conference winner. Laney and New Hanover will represent the area at next week’s 4A regional at Taberna Country Club in New Bern. West Brunswick qualified for the 3A regional at Wilson Country Club in Wilson.

Samuel Young. Photos by Joe Catenacci
Samuel Young. Photos by Joe Catenacci.

“Our goal has been to try to get to states as a team,” said Young. “We’ve done it the past two years. We hope that we can play well and I’ve heard it’s a tough course, but I think if we play our game we’ll have a chance.

“I think with the help of my parents and brother, they’ve kind of steered me in the right direction to stay cool through pressure and not lose my temper. I just try to keep the game simple. Hit a good drive, one on the green and two-putt is how I try to approach the game.”

The senior standout stormed off the first tee box and birdied three of the four opening holes on the Azalea course in Leland before hitting three on the par-four, 342-yard sixth, to close the front nine at four-under. He was four shots better than par after six and shot even golf over seven, eight and nine.

Young sank any easy birdie putt on the par-five second and drained a 30-footer on the par-five fourth after a long drive found the middle of the fairway. His approach gave him a good look at the pin and Young’s second shot on seven, with a strong headwind, put him within five feet of the cup.

Bradley Hickle.
Bradley Mickle.

“I was able to get a few birdies to begin with and stayed strong,” said Young. “I had a couple up and downs to save me from hitting bogey on the front. I got into a little bogey groove after the turn and told myself to keep grinding to try and get a par. I ended up getting a birdie and was real happy with my round.”

A few tough breaks after the turn, with four straight bogeys on the Magnolia nine, brought him back to even par. Young bounced back to birdie the par-four, 335 yard 16th,  along with his brother Jackson Young.

Samuel Young bogeyed 18 to end his day at 72 as the individual medalist, two shots ahead of Bradley Mickle (New Hanover).

“I was hitting my driver pretty straight today even with the wind in our face,” said Mickle. “My approach shots were pretty good and I was consistent with the putter. I put in a lot of practice time, like every day, so it’s good to see that payoff.”

While Samuel Young captured top honors, Jackson Young hit several key putts in the front nine to save par and scored one birdie on the back nine to finish at 78.  Haden Bubel and Alex Jones closed the Bucs team win at  Magnolia Greens with an 85 and 80, respectively. The 315 combined score as top four players from each school were recorded, was 10 strokes better than runner-up West Brunswick.

Tucker Vaughn, left, and Landon Patterson
Tucker Vaughn, left, and Landon Patterson

The Trojan’s Landon Patterson and Tucker Vaughn joined the Young’s in group one and both shot 80 or better. Patterson posted a pair of 38s through the front and back to close at 76, with one birdie on the day. Vaughn shot one-over-par at the turn before playing bogey golf on the back nine.

Topsail’s Steven Crowell paced the Pirates with a 77 as just five players finished in the 70s. Samuel Jarden posted an 86 to lead Hoggard, while Xavier Williams hit 87 for South Brunswick.

Crowell, Williams, Jarden and Kodiak Dowling also qualified for region’s as individuals.

Team scores

No. 1 Laney 315; West Brunswick 325; New Hanover 332; Hoggard 368; South Brunswick 381; Topsail  380; Ashley 405

Individual scores

Laney: Samuel Young, 72; Jackson Young, 78; Alex Jones, 80; Haden Bubel, 85

West: Landon Patterson, 76; Taylor Vaughn 80; C. Snyder, 85; Spencer Faircloth, 84

NHHS: Bradley Mickle 74; T. Hill 84; B. Moore, 88; S. Thompson, 86

Hoggard: Samuel Jarden, 86; R. Vause, 93; W. Steyskal, 92; C. Pando, 97;

Topsail: S. Crowell 77; K. Whitaker, 109; B. Holmes, 100; N. Hepler, 94

South: X. Williams, 87; J. Narron, 101; M. Hardison, 106

Ashley: B. Hudson, 89; W. VanAlstine, 80; Z. Miller, 115; C. Beehan 121