Warriors’ Loy fires 67 to win

Sherando's Brett Loy putts an early hole during Tuesday afternoon golf at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club in Front Royal. Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – Sherando junior Brett Loy got off to a bit of a sluggish start – at least by his standards – at the eighth annual Skyline Invitational golf tournament at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club Tuesday afternoon.

Loy, last year’s Group 4A state champion, missed eight straight birdie putts on his first eight holes during the 12-team tournament before things began clicking. A birdie on his ninth hole, 9 White, got things rolling, and Loy ended the day with a tournament-low 67 (-4) to best Loudoun Valley’s Brandon Weaver by a stroke.

“I just tried to hit every green in regulation today and I hit 17, so I only missed one and I was still putting on that one,” said Loy, who tied for fifth at last season’s Skyline Invitational. “I just hit the ball really well.”

Loy’s birdie on the par-5 ninth hole of Shenandoah Valley Golf Club’s White Nine was the first of four on the afternoon for the junior, who said his 67 on the par-71 course was “one of the best” rounds he’s shot in a high school tournament.

Loy also birdied 3 Blue and 5 Blue – both par 4’s – after placing his approach shot within three or four feet of the hole on both greens, he said, and picked up his final birdie on 8 Blue, a par 3.

Sherando's Brett Loy lines up a putt during an early hole Tuesday afternoon at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club in Front Royal. Rich Cooley/Daily

Loy, who said his ball striking was his biggest strength on Tuesday, only missed one green (on 6 Blue) and didn’t bogey a hole.

“I just started kicking in the birdie putts. The front nine I just couldn’t get the speed down,” Loy said. “I mean, I parred both par fives in the back so that was a little disappointing but other than that I putted really well.”

Loy’s tournament-best round paved the way for a second-place team finish for Sherando, which ended the day with 307 points. Loudoun Valley won the 12-team event with a four-golfer total of 289.

Warriors senior Josh Hogue was the only other local golfer to earn a tournament medal by placing the top six, as he fired a 76 and earned the sixth individual spot via tiebreaker.

Sherando coach Rob Wright said Hogue “held together well” after getting off to a slow start of his own.

Skyline's Brandon Griffith looks over a putt during Tuesday afternoon's golf tourney at Shenandoah Valley County Club in Front Royal. Rich Cooley/Daily

“He does finish well,” Wright said. “… Those are the kind of things – he wasn’t playing well when Jonah (Pearson) got sick and then he started playing well. He stepped up like he needed to.”

Mason Scott carded an 80 for Sherando, while Josh Bianco finished with an 84. Pearson only made it through four or five holes on Tuesday before he had to remove himself from competition because of a migraine, Wright said.

Strasburg finished sixth on Tuesday with a total of 336 points. Coach Jordan Hardy said the Rams need to work on “playing smarter” on the golf course than they did on Tuesday, although he added that he was impressed with the rounds turned in by senior Eric Reynolds and freshman Seth Stickley, Strasburg’s fifth and sixth golfers. Both carded 85’s that turned out to be the second-lowest scores for the Rams.

“I would say that’s their best tournament score, both of them,” Hardy said. “They both counted for our team. Obviously all coaches are always preaching all your scores count, all your shots count, and certainly today we needed those two scores for our total, so that was important to us.”

Senior Colten Smith led the Rams with a 79 (+8), well off the 70 he fired at the same event last year to win the tournament.

Skyline's Brandon Griffith tees off during Tuesday afternoon's golf tourney at Shenandoah Valley County Club in Front Royal. Rich Cooley/Daily

“I was on track, I could’ve shot … low 70’s,” Smith said. “I had like eight one-putts today. I was just scrambling the rest of the day. I couldn’t get off the tee box the way I wanted to. I always ended up in trouble off the tee box and I was just trying to save par the whole day. And sometimes I would get on the green for bogey and save bogey. It was just tough.”

Freshman Austin Stickles closed out Strasburg’s scoring with an 87.

Warren County finished 10th as a team with 360 points, although senior Courtney L’Amoreaux turned in her most successful round in a high school tournament when she fired a career-low 83 to lead the Wildcats.

“Basically all my drives and fairway shots were great. Putting was off but obviously not too off because I still did kind of good,” L’Amoreaux said.

The Warren County senior said she had a bit of extra motivation before she took to the links Tuesday afternoon.

“My dad actually said if I shot below an 84 he’d buy me dinner,” L’Amoreaux said, adding that a trip to Olive Garden might be in her near future.

Freshman Michael Coons shot an 89 for the Wildcats, while senior Dalton Jenkins (92) and freshman Joey Sorge (96) rounded out the scoring for Warren County.

Skyline placed 12th in its home event with a score of 369. Sophomore Brandon Griffith led the Hawks with an 87, while sophomore Trenton Little (90), senior Matthew Fritts (96) and sophomore Joseph Embrey (96) also contributed to the scoring.

“I think when it comes to Skyline golf this year it’s a year of rebuilding,” Hawks coach Colin Miller said. “We’ve got a lot of young players. We’ve got a sophomore playing number one for us who is just coming down to where he needs to be, starting to get into the 80’s.

“It’s been a year where we’re struggling to get where we need to be, but we’re slowly but surely getting there.”

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com