Three local golf teams and a handful of individual players from the area teed off on Monday at two of the 16 North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) regional tournaments held across the state.
4A East Regional at Pinehurst No. 6
The top three teams in each respective region automatically qualified for states with the best four scores. New Hanover and Hoggard represented the Mideastern Conference in the 4A East Region.
Led by Jackson Tyler, the Wildcats earned a return trip to Pinehurst after placing third as a team. New Hanover had a combined score of 329, two shots back of second-place Greenville-Rose. Tyler posted a 77, while Thomas Hill shot an 82. Brad Mickle finished at 83 and Brantley Moore hit 87 to round out the top four.
Jackson Young (Laney) had the low score for Wilmington players after the junior fired a four-over-par 76 to clinch a spot in next week’s NCHSAA Championship. Young was five shots back from individual medalist winner, Eric Bae of Pincrest (71).
Laney’s Michael Jones and Coy Shepard (Hoggard) also qualified for the state tournament as individuals after battling alongside some 70 golfers in the field.
Wes VanAlstein had the most drama of any local player on Monday as the Ashley standout was set to compete in a second playoff hole for the last individual spot out of the east region, but VanAlstein missed the cut on a card playoff as storms rolled in and suspended play for the day.
The two-day 4A NCHSAA Championship will be played on the No. 8 course at Pinehurst beginning on Monday, May 9.
No. 1 Pinecrest, 293; No. 2 Greenville-Rose, 327; No. 3 New Hanover, 329; No. 5 Hoggard, 352;
Individual leader board
Eric Bae (Pinecrest) 71
Jackson Young (Laney) 76
Jackson Tyler (NHHS) 77
Michael Jones (Laney) 80
Coy Shepard (Hoggard) 81
Thomas Hill (NHHS) 82
Brad Mickle (NHHS) 83
Nick Orsa (Hoggard) 86
Brantley Moore (NHHS) 87
John Schenk (Hoggard) 90
Will Steyskal (Hoggard) 95
Chazz Pando (Hoggard) 105
3A East Regional at Reedy Creek Golf Course
West Brunswick also competed as a group in the 3A East Regional played at Reedy Creek Golf Course in Four Oaks.
The Trojans placed tied for fifth place, eight strokes back from the final qualifying spot in team competition. Tucker Vaughn paced the West Brunswick scoring. He was two over par at the turn, but hit 42 on the back nine to finish with an 80 as the top player on the Trojans scoreboard. Vaughn closed in a three-way tie for sixth place among the 75 golfers to compete on Monday.
Patrick Stephenson (South Johnston) claimed individual medalist honors with a four-under 68. C.B. Aycock, Corinth Holders and West Craven were the three team qualifiers for states out of the 3A East Regional.
Landon Patterson was at even par headed to the back nine, but shot 46 on the final nine holes of the day to post an 82 for West Brunswick. Steven Crowell also closed his 2016 campaign with an 83 for Topsail.
The 3A NCHSAA Championship will be played at Whispering Pines Country Club on May 9-10.
T-1 Corinth Holders, 332; T-1 C.B. Aycock, 332; T-1 West Craven, 332; No. 4 South Johnson, 339; T-5 Triton, 340; T-5 West Brunswick, 340; No. 7 Wilson-Fike, 349; No. 8 Jacksonville, 352; No. 9 West Carteret, 359; No. 10 Nash Central, 363; No. 11 Northern Nash, 375
Individual leader board Front 9/Back9/Total
No. 1 Patrick Stephenson (South Johnston) 34-34= 68
Tucker Vaughn (West Brunswick) 38-42=80
Landon Patterson (West Brunswick) 36-46=82
Steven Crowell (Topsail) 41-42=83
Max Johnson (Topsail) 42-43=85
Xavier Williams (South Brunswick) 45-42=87
Connor Durham (West Brunswick) 42-46=88
Harrison Wierse (Topsail) 44-44=88
Spencer Faircloth (West Brunswick) 46-44=90
Austin Aycock (West Brunswick) 46-46=92