Loy wins Skyline Invitational

Strasburg's Austin Stickles lines a putt during the Skyline Invitational golf tournament Tuesday at Shenandoah Valley Country Club in Front Royal. Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – With the golf postseason just around the corner, four area teams had a chance to fine-tune their games on Tuesday and all four of them had success.

Sherando’s Brett Loy had the best day of all as he shot a 68 to win the top individual honors. He led the Warriors to a fifth-place team finish in the 15-team Skyline Invitational held at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club in Front Royal.

Loy birdied four holes with one bogey as he shot his 3-under par round.

“I just tried to play smart and just tried to hit something down the fairway and then middle of the green,” Loy said.

The 2014 Group 4A golf individual state champion said he’s worked on playing smarter this year and it’s paid off for him.

Loy said that he didn’t putt as well as he would have liked to, but he was still happy with the round.

“It was a solid round – that’s about all. It was solid,” Loy said. “I kind of stick to the game plan and didn’t try to do anything crazy.”

Strasburg finished sixth as a team with a 325. Sophomore Austin Stickles led the way with a 77.

Stickles said that he had one birdie and one double bogey. He said that it helps that he knows the course very well.

“I felt pretty confident out there today,” Stickles said. “I didn’t drive the ball very good at all today, but my second shots are usually good saves.”

Jefferson Forest won the tournament with a 294, followed by Loudoun Valley (307), Woodgrove (309) and Loudoun County (312).

Sherando’s Jonah Pearson shot a 78 and teammate Josh Bianco shot an 85. Sherando’s Ryan Judy, normally the Warriors No. 4 golfer, shot a season-best 82. Sherando coach Rob Wright said he was very happy with how Judy played.

“I’m really proud of Ryan Judy,” Wright said. “Getting Ryan in the fold is the main thing. We’ve been looking for a fourth score all year, and if Ryan can keep this up that will really help us out in the long run.”

Strasburg had some good balance in its lineup. Cory Clinedinst shot an 82, while Seth Stickley and James Burr each shot an 83.

Strasburg coach Joel Morgan said it was the best that his team had performed all season.

“I think we’re starting to see some more consistency, especially out of James (Burr) and Cory (Clinedinst),” Morgan said. “It makes me feel a little bit better as we draw closer to the conference tournament, which is just a little over a week away. So it makes you feel a little bit better when you get some guys playing more consistent.”

Skyline finished 10th with a 335. Trenton Little shot an 82, and Lauren Sims and Brett Ritter each had an 84 to lead the way.

Skyline coach Roy Kelly said he saw some real progress from his team.

“Today was a day where we played to the expectation that I’ve been thinking we would have all year,” Kelly said. “We shot really well (Monday in a tri-meet) and carried that confidence over to today. With the end of the season coming up, I think it’s a good time to be hitting those scores that we’ve been looking for all year.”

Warren County finished tied for 11th with a 347. Joey Sorge shot an 82 and Jacob Laughlin had an 85 to lead the Wildcats.

Warren County coach Matt Wadas said he’s hoping his team can build on Tuesday’s performance heading into the postseason.

“I wanted to see some lower scores and we had some personal bests today. So that’s kind of what you wanted to see,” Wadas said. “We haven’t played 18 holes since August. I love this tournament for that. Where do you get to play 18 holes at the end of the year? That’s kind of what my postgame speech was – we need to use this as momentum for conference.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com