Area golfers struggle in Region 2A East tournament

HARRISONBURG – All of the local golfers struggled Monday with a state berth on the line.

None of the eight local golfers in the Region 2A East golf tournament at Heritage Oaks Golf Course were able to advance to next week’s Group 2A state tournament. Only the top two teams and the top six individuals not on one of those teams advance to the state tournament.

Central shot a 152 and finished eighth as a team, while Strasburg’s Austin Stickles shot an 86 and teammate Seth Stickley shot a 91.

Central’s Sam Shifflett had the best round of the area golfers with an 84, which was six strokes off the qualifying mark.

“I had a couple holes that really just killed me,” Shifflett said. “I had three 7’s on the scorecard and that never helps. Other holes I played great. I just wasn’t consistent.”

That seemed to be a theme among the local golfers. Stickles, who started his round on the back nine, said he had a 10 on hole No. 14, which hurt his round.

“It seemed like in the beginning I couldn’t really get started,” Stickles said. “I kept on getting bogeys and I had a 10 on No. 14. After that I think I kind of said to myself I know you can do better, and I got the confidence and started hitting the ball decent.”

Stickles, who advanced to the state tournament last season as a freshman, said he struggled with his putting Monday.

“I just couldn’t make any putts,” Stickles said. “I would have four-or five-footers and I would just blow them by the hole.”

Central junior Coy Jimenez, who won the Conference 35 tournament last week, shot an 87.

“I went to the range (Monday) morning and had a perfect practice,” Jimenez said. “I didn’t think I was going to have any problems. But then I got out there, and I just couldn’t strike the ball consistently with a fade and draw. It was just going all over the place. It just wasn’t consistent.”

Central’s Luke Estep shot a 90, while teammates Brandon Davis had a 91, Michael French had a 105 and Ben Ritenour had a 130.

Randolph-Henry won the tournament with a 306 and East Rockingham was second with a 313. Prince Edward’s Henry Lutz won the top individual honor, shooting a 73.

The Rams didn’t advance as a team in last week’s Conference 35 tourney, but sent both Stickles and Stickley to regionals.

Strasburg coach Joel Morgan said he was happy with the season the team had, and it was a good accomplishment for Stickles and Stickley to make it to regionals.

“I’m sure neither one of them are real happy with how they played, but it is a good experience for them to be here,” Morgan said. “It’s good they’re still young, and hopefully they’ll have another opportunity next year. And who knows maybe we can put a few more with them.”

It was the second straight regional appearance for the Falcons, who don’t have a senior in their top six.

“I’m proud of them for the year that they’ve had, and I’m looking forward to next year,” Central coach Jeff Walters said. “We don’t really lose anybody in the top six, and we’ve got other guys that are competing to be in the top six. So I’m excited about next year, and really proud of the stuff they accomplished this year.”

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

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