VIENNA -On the verge of something special, both Marietta's Jared Hammons and the Roane County golf team came up just short in their quest to join the winner's circle at Monday's Parkersburg Country Club Invitational.
Three days after capturing medalist honors at the Washington County Invitational, Hammons nearly duplicated that effort after turning in a round of 3-under par 70. Standing in his way was George Washington senior Will Evans, who birdied seven holes and finished at 6-under 67.
"I thought my score would definitely be pretty close to winning," Hammons said. "What Will shot is a great score. I did all I could all day. You have to respect what Will did."
Photo by Kerry Patrick
Parkersburg golfer Lauryn Davidson watches her tee shot at the ninth hole during Monday’s Parkersburg Country Club Invitational. Davidson shot an 82 as the Big Reds placed sixth in a field of 26 schools.
Evans' low round of the day enabled George Washington to not only capture first place in the team standings at 228, but also claim the overall championship in the Top Flite Junior Tour's High School Series.
Since the series began in 2007, the Tri-State Cup has belonged in the hands of a Class AAA program. That almost changed this year.
With one stop remaining at PCC, Roane County from the Class AA ranks sat in first place. Second-place Wheeling Park did not compete in yesterday's meet, so only George Washington and University remained in the chase.
As team scores were posted, Roane County coach James Kendall noticed his Raiders tied Marietta for third place at 231. At that point, he knew the inevitable and during the awards banquet, tournament officials announced a mere 50-point difference between George Washington and Roane County.
"Nothing to be ashamed of -we're right up there competing with Class AAA schools," Kendall said. "I'm very proud of my kids. They held it together for four tournaments.
"I never envisioned this. I figured we would be way back there."
University, behind all-tournament member Trent McPherson's 73, placed runner-up at 230. Spearheading Roane County's efforts was freshman Cole Moore (74), who joined Charleston Catholic's Christian Casignal (75) on the all-tournament team.
"Our kids are kind of disappointed because a couple of them knew they could play better, and they have played better," Kendall said. "We have a lot of time before the end of season. We just need to keep playing at the same level and carry it on through regional, and into the state tournament," Kendall said.
The field consisted of 26 schools, including Parkersburg taking sixth place at 240. Ryan Anderson and Austin Davis paced the Big Reds with a pair of 79s. Adam Lang's 80 led Warren's 'A' squad a ninth-place showing at 246.
The day, however, belonged to Evans, who claimed medalist honors in three of the four high school series events. Earlier this year at Parkersburg Country Club, he advanced to the finals of the West Virginia Golf Association's Junior Match Play Championships before losing to Wheeling Park's Thadd Obecny 3 and 2.
"I've always been comfortable at this course," said Evans after recording three birdies on the front side and another four on the back nine, including consecutive birdies on 16 and 17. He just missed closing out with three in a row after his 20-foot putt on No. 18 lipped out.
In addition to turning in a bogey-free round, Hammons converted a 50-foot putt on No. 5 for one of his three birdies.
"I'm finally getting things to come together as far as my ball-striking," Hammons said. "The last couple of weeks, I've worked really hard on my short game and that's really started to pay off."