Led by junior transfer Jackson Tyler, the New Hanover boy’s golf team cruised to the team title at the 2016 Wilmington High School Tournament held at the city’s Municipal Golf Course.
Competing under cool temperatures and blustery winds, the reigning North Carolina High School Athletic Association Player of the Week was the only golfer to post a score in red, topping the leader board with a one-under-par 70 on the 6,282-yard layout.
“It’s nice building off the momentum from earlier this week and really the last two weeks after being honored by the state of North Carolina,” said Tyler, who recorded his fifth individual win of the season on Thursday. “It’s given me a lot of confidence and heading into today I just wanted to continue to work off that.”
The annual event began with a shotgun start at noon as 44 golfers teed off in foursomes. Tyler played alongside Jackson Young (Laney), Miles Lindstrom (Cape Fear Academy) and Steven Crowell (Topsail) as they teed off on the Par 4, 350-yard fifth hole.
After bogeying number six, Tyler got back to even-par with three on the 390-yard, par 4, tenth hole. He found the fairway on his drive and knocked down a 12-foot birdie putt.
Tyler then pared 10 straight holes before recording his second birdie on the 416-yard third hole, which was actually his 17th hole of the day. His approach shot from 130 yards out was within four feet of the cup to go one-under, while his up-and-down on the final par three of the afternoon was arguably his biggest test of the day after missing the green right on his tee shot.
The chip-and-putt put Tyler five shots ahead of runner-up Bradley Mickle, who played in the group behind his teammate and closed the round with a four-over-par, 75. During his stretch of 10 pars in a row, Tyler made several big strokes using his short game. He stayed steady on the putter and kept his composure in tough playing conditions.
“My best shot was on the last hole,” Tyler said. “I had a shot pretty far down below the green and hit it to about three feet. I put a lot of time into it. My coach tells me to spend an hour or two hours more on my short game than long game because that will save me and it certainly did today.”
With Tyler and Mickle leading the way, New Hanover is primed for a conference title heading into the final few outings before postseason play. Thomas Hill posted 80, and Brantley Moore finished with an 83 to give the Wildcats a team score of 308, 21 shots ahead of second-place Topsail.
“It feels kind of cool to be having this success,” Tyler said. “The guys on the team made it pretty easy to get adjusted when I go to school here and we look forward to getting back out next week.”
Other notable scores from Thursday’s tournament at Wilmington Municipal Golf Course included: Michael Jones (77), Miles Lindstrom (79), Thomas Hill (80), Nick Orsa (81), Cole McCarthy (81), Max Johnson (81), Harrison Wierse (81) and Jackson Young (81).
Lindstrom sank a 20-foot putt on the par 3, 172-yard fourth as the Cape Fear Academy eighth-grader placed fourth as an individual with 79. Michael Jones also hit 77 for Laney. Only four players shot in the 70s, with four others closing with an 81.
Team scores: New Hanover 308; Topsail 329; Laney 334; Cape Fear Academy 337; Hoggard 340; Ashley 370; South Brunswick 415;
No. 1 Jackson Tyler, 70, New Hanover CHAMPION
No. 2 Bradley Mickle, 75, New Hanover
No. 3 Michael Jones, 77, Laney
No. 4 Miles Lindstrom, 79, Cape Fear Academy
No. 5 Thomas Hill, 80, New Hanover
T-6 Jackson Young, 81, Laney
T-6 Nick Orsa, 81, Hoggard
T-6 Max Johnson, 81, Topsail
T-6 Harrison Wierse, 81, Topsail
Coy Shepard, 82, Hoggard
Brantley Moore, 83, New Hanover
Corey Oberto, 83, Cape Fear Academy
Steven Crowell, 83, Topsail
Hunter Coniglio, 84, South Brunswick
Vance Young, 84, Cape Fear Academy
John Schenk, 84, Hoggard
Wesley Van Alstine, 89, Ashley
Hogan Disbrow, 89, South Brunswick
Will Steyskal, 91, Hoggard
Chazz Pandon, 93, Hoggard
Wit Tinsley, 93, New Hanover
Harris Dozier, 94, Cape Fear Academy
Preston Gourville, 94, New Hanover
Karl Lane, 95, Laney
Rusty Hawke, 95, South Brunswick
Barrett Holmes, 95, Topsail
Brandon Hudson, 98, Ashley
Ethan Brown, 99, Ashley