Facing some tough course conditions at The River Golf Club at Lake Royale in Louisburg, every player on the Seaforth boys golf team got off to a rough start at Monday’s 2A Mideast regional championships.
It wouldn’t last long.
Competing among dozens of teams, the Seaforth boys rallied to shoot 317 as a team, a score low enough to earn them first place in the team competition. In just their second season as a program, the Hawks have already made quite the name for themselves in the state golf scene.
“As soon as everyone was done, even if they were disappointed by their individual performance, they were all hanging out and were super excited to watch the team scores come in,” said Seaforth head coach Bobby Stewart. “As those were posted, they began to realize they performed really well as a group. They were pumped.”
Seaforth’s low-scorer Monday was freshman Ty Willoughby, whose score of 73 (+1) earned him medalist honors. The freshman got off to an amazing start and was -3 through 11 holes. Though he gave a few strokes back on the last few holes, the score was more than enough to help the Hawks to the front of the leaderboard.
Sophomore Griffin Ching shot a “well-earned” 75, according to Stewart, while freshman Campbell Meader’s 83 and sophomore Gray Stewart’s 86 rounded out Seaforth’s scores.
The Hawks were still eager to get practice time in even after completing their regional rounds yesterday. Many of them were disappointed in their individual performances and wanted to work on their games.
“No sooner had we gotten back in the parking lot to leave yesterday, but several of them were ready to go play again and were making plans to do it,” Stewart said.
That eagerness will serve the Hawks well as the prepare to compete in the 2A state championships, which will take place Monday and Tuesday at Longleaf Golf & Family Club in Southern Pines. Seaforth’s competitors will play two 18-hole rounds over the course of the tournament, a big jump from the 18 they played this Monday and the nine they normally played during regular season matches.
While Stewart believes his team is in good spirits entering the state championships, he knows it will be a test of strength for his players’ minds and bodies.
“I think it will be a grueling mental test for these guys, just to perform at a high level for two whole days,” Stewart said. From a physical perspective, it’s going to be hot, and the course is going to be tough, but I like our mental fortitude, and I like the fight these guys displayed (Monday), in particular. I’m excited to see what they’re going to do, and I know they’re super excited to have this opportunity.”
While Northwood didn’t qualify for states as a team, junior Patrick Baquero earned a spot in the 3A state championships thanks to his performance at the 3A mideast regionals Monday. Baquero played his regional round at Highland Country Club in Fayetteville. He will compete this upcoming Monday and Tuesday at the “Red” course at Foxfire Golf Club, just west of Pinehurst.
Sports Editor Jeremy Vernon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @jbo_vernon.