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Strasburg finishes third in Bryan Gunter Golf Tournament

Skyline's Lauren Sims hits from the rough on the Blue Course No. 4 at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club Tuesday during the first round of the Bryan Gunter Memorial Golf Tournament. Jeff Taylor/For The Northern Virginia Daily

FRONT ROYAL – Solid scores from a trio of golfers gave Strasburg a strong showing Tuesday at the Bryan Gunter Golf Tournament held at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club.

The Rams finished third in the event, which was supposed to be a two-day event. Late Tuesday afternoon it was announced that the second day of the tournament had been canceled due to the weather. The second day of the tournament was scheduled for today at Winchester Country Club. However, due to Tuesday afternoon’s rain, the second day of the tourney was canceled as Winchester Country Club had several holes under water as of Tuesday afternoon.

Par at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club is 71, with the golfers playing on the Blue and White nine-hole courses.

Strasburg senior Austin Stickles shot a 77 and finished tied for seventh overall. Stickles said that he felt like he could have done better, but he was still happy with his round.

“Overall, I think I had a good round, probably an average round for me,” Stickles said. “I played not as good as I wanted to – the conditions were a little rough.”

Austin Stickles of Strasburg High School tees off on Blue Course No. 4 at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club Tuesday during the Bryan Gunter Memorial Golf Tournament. Jeff Taylor/For The Northern Virginia Daily

All of the golfers had to play through a hard rain for the last one or two holes of their rounds, including trying to putt through puddles on the greens. Stickles said the rain cost him a shot or two on his final hole, where he three-putted from about 15 feet away.

Stickles said he bogeyed his first hole, but then had his only birdie of the day on the white course, hole No. 2.

“I pulled my tee shot a little bit left of the rough,” Stickles said of the hole. “I had a decent approach shot onto the green. I probably had about 20 feet down the hill, and I ended up making the putt. So I was pretty happy with that. It was pretty unexpected.”

Strasburg’s Seth Stickley and Drew Thomas each shot a 79 to help the Rams finish in third place. Jack Burr shot an 89, James Burr shot a 94, and Satchell Roller shot a 106 for the Rams.

Strasburg coach Joel Morgan said he was pleased with how his team performed.

Seth Stickley of Strasburg High School warms up on the driving range at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club Tuesday before teeing off in the Bryan Gunter Memorial Golf Tournament. Jeff Taylor/For The Northern Virginia Daily

“I’m pretty happy with their play today – to have three guys in the 70s,” Morgan said. “I’m really, really pleased with Drew Thomas’ round. I think Seth (Stickley) put up a good number.”

Thomas, a junior, is the team’s No. 3 golfer and Morgan said he feels like Tuesday’s round shows what he’s capable of.

“I feel like when he goes out there I’m looking for a number in the low 80s,” Morgan said. “But I do think that certain days depending on the course and conditions, I think he’s capable of doing what he did today. He had a hole where he was putting through some casual water that cost him two strokes there at the end of the round. And so I think he was going to end up picking up a number that was even lower than that if it wouldn’t have been for those last couple holes. It was a real nice day, and I know he’s capable of it. We’ll just see if we can’t get him to where he’s more consistent.”

Skyline was led by Lauren Sims, who shot an 81 on Tuesday. Sims said she started off slowly but was pleased with how she recovered from the start. She said she had three bogeys on her first three holes.

“On the white (course) I shot a 38, 3-over par, so that was good,” Sims said. “I had some good par saves on some of those holes.”

Sims was coming off one of her best rounds of the early part of the season. She shot a 77 on Monday in the Class 3 Northwestern District mini-tournament, which was held at Greene Hills Country Club in Stanardsville. Sims said she feels like she’s playing well at the start of the season.

The Hawks finished 10th in the 12-team tourney on Tuesday with a 382. Skyline’s Noah Williams shot an 89 in his first match of the year. Gabriel Smith (104), Zach Karnes (108), Nathan Thomas (127) and Audrey Dueweke (135) rounded out the Hawks’ lineup.

Skyline golf coach Monty Goff said he sees improvement from his team. Goff said they haven’t been able to have an official practice yet this season due to the weather and playing so many matches to start the season.

” I don’t know how well we’re going to do by the end of the year, but when I get the opportunity to actually start teaching them we’re going to be fine,” Goff said.

Sherando was led by Caleb Dotson, who shot an 82. Teammate Brandon Nice shot an 83. Ian Ames (88), Parker Gregg (88), Gavin Eawes (95) and Scott Curtis (121) rounded out the Warriors’ scores. The Warriors finished with a team score of 341 and tied for seventh overall.

Dotson said he got off to a rough start, but he birdied back-to-back holes on White No. 1 and 2. He said the team is doing well to start the season.

“We weren’t supposed to be one of the better teams, but we’re doing a lot better this year than what we were supposed to do,” Dotson said.

Sherando golf coach Joe Knight said that Nice had an off day, but overall he was pleased with his team early in the season.

“I’m really happy with Caleb (Dotson),” Knight said. “Caleb finally shot the round that we know he can shoot. And then we just need to have Ian Ames and Parker Gregg improve on their scores. It’s early in the season. This was a good test for us. There were some really good scores here.”

Woodgrove won the tournament with a 303, while Loudoun Valley finished second with a 307. Woodgrove’s Jackson Soska shot a 69 for the low individual score.

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