Eight is enough for West Union
Published 12:00 am Monday, May 31, 2004
NATCHEZ &045; Break out your slide rulers, abacuses and calculators.
The waning moments during the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 1A State golf tournament provided for some scrambling of scores at Beau Pr Country Club Thursday.
Unfortunately for Cathedral, no recounts or hanging chads were making up for the eight strokes it needed to draw even with State champion West Union, who edged the Green Wave for the second consecutive year.
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The Eagles, who downed Cathedral by five strokes at the Vicksburg Country Club in 2003, shot 326 as a team &045; a day after they opened with a disappointing 345 &045; to push past first-round leader Union, which finished third with a total of 680, a shot behind CHS.
&uot;They told me (Wednesday) that they were going to come out and play better,&uot; West Union head coach Ray Kennedy said of his players. &uot;I’ve always been of the opinion that talk is cheap. Frankly, maybe I was being pessimistic, but I was gonna be proud if we finished second. But they came out and did it.&uot;
The Green Wave shot 339 Thursday to finish with a team score of 679.
Sophomores Jordan Farmer and Matthew Hall, who both improved on their first-round scores Thursday, shifted their eyes from a silver calculator to the leader board, anxiously awaiting the final scores to be posted.
When West Union’s No. 4 Will Young posted an 81, Green Wave golfers and their head coach Ken Beesley Jr. knew the bridesmaid outcome.
&uot;I didn’t expect (West Union) to shoot 345 (Wednesday), and I thought we had a good chance,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;They came out (Thursday) put it together and did what I expected of them.&uot;
Union senior Jonathan Winstead, who finished second overall the previous two years at State, won the individual top medallist honors by gathering himself on the back nine to shoot an even-par 36 and second round 75 to go with his opening 72 to end up at 3-over 147.
&uot;It hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m still in awe,&uot; said Winstead, who’s set to attend Mississippi College next year. &uot;I can’t believe by the way I played on the front that I was able to shoot even on the back. If you want a real answer to that question, you have to ask me tomorrow.&uot;
Farmer, who made up a four-stroke deficit on the front to shoot 34 and lead Winstead at the turn by one, shot 73 to finish at 5-over 149, tied with St. Aloysius freshman Chase Smith.
The two agreed they were fed up with two days of golf and went to the scorecards to decide second and third places.
Smith, who as an eighth grader beat Winstead on a playoff for the individual title, was declared the winner at the short par-4 12th where he made par and Farmer struggled for a triple-bogey seven after a wayward drive.
The 290-yard 12th was disconcerting for Farmer to begin with since it was where he gave back the lead to Winstead and never full recovered despite a birdie at No. 17, the same hole where Smith pulled the string on a 75-yard sand wedge for an eagle-2.
&uot;I hit a 3-iron (Wednesday) with the wind in my face and hit into the bunker,&uot; Farmer said of No. 12. &uot;I wanted to make sure I didn’t hit it around, but I was even thinking left. I hit a pull hook, had to drop in the middle of some dirt and then I don’t know how I missed that two-footer.&uot;
While Farmer lamented what other options he had at the 12th, Beesley wondered what might have been with the rest of his team.
Jake Kaiser had a rough day again across Beau Pr, unable to recover from his opening 84, posting a 92.
&uot;Jake just didn’t have a good day (Thursday),&uot; Beesley said. &uot;He quadrupled nine and 18, and that’s eight strokes right there.&uot;
After playing rather uncharacteristically passive on Wednesday, West Union’s collection of one senior, a junior, two sophomores and a lone freshman decided a change was in order.
&uot;Our game plan, we agreed on, was for everybody to go for it and we’d see what happens,&uot; said Eagle senior Cole Porter, who rebounded Thursday with a 3-over 75 after opening with an 84. &uot;(Wednesday) we played pretty much the worst we were gonna do. I had confidence we all could do better.&uot;