ZEBULON — A second-place finish at home on Tuesday made official the fourth-straight regular season title for the Zebulon boys’ team in the local division of the Eastern N.C. Junior Golf League.
The Zebulon Country Club team finished the five matches of the season with 106 team points, well beyond the reach of second-place Willow Springs of Wilson (73). Wendell Country Club (41.5), Peachtree Hills Country Club of Spring Hope (40.5), Birchwood Country Club of Nashville (30.5), Southern Wayne Country Club of Mount Olive (15.5) and Cardinal Country Club of Selma (7.5) rounded out the boys’ team standings.
In girls’ action, Willow Springs claimed first on the season with 46 points and was trailed by Peachtree (36), Birchwood (32.5), Wendell (10.5), Zebulon (5.5) and Cardinal (3).
The low round in each age division earns 4.5 points for the player’s team, and so on, with 1.5 points awarded to the fourth-best score. Every golfer is awarded a minimum of a half-point for completing a round. Each team designates a 12-player roster that determines team scoring for each match.
Willow Springs teams swept Tuesday’s match at the Zebulon course – the boys’ team posting 20.5 points and the girls’ team tallying 14.
The Zebulon boys combined for 17.5 points to secure the runner-up spot. They were followed by Peachtree (10.5), Wendell (9.5), Birchwood (4.5), and Cardinal and Southern Wayne (1 team point each). Peachtree’s girls finished second with 9.5 points Tuesday, while Birchwood and Wendell tied for third with 2 team points each.
In the 10-11 boys division, Zebulon’s Robert Henderson shot 34 to tie for medalist honors alongside Willow Springs golfer Warren Matthews. Henderson finished in a tie for second in the age group for the regular season.
Zebulon’s Peyton Windley (39 stroke average) was named the 12-13 boys regular season champion after firing a 38 and claiming first place in the age group Tuesday morning. Wendell’s Matthew Hayes did not compete Tuesday, but still claimed second on the regular season out of the 12-13 boys, while his teammate Kirby Yeargin shot 41 at the Zebulon course to secure the regular season third-place spot in the age class.
Blake McShea, also a Zebulon golfer, was deemed the 14-15 boys’ regular season champ following a tie breaker based on stroke average. His average of 38.75 on four rounds topped that of Willow Springs golfer Stephen Abrams, who averaged 39.75 over four rounds. McShea shot 37 to tie for second in Tuesday’s match.
Zebulon’s Troy Bennett shot 41 Tuesday and claimed third place on the season in the 14-15 boys’ division.
In the 16-18 boys’ class, Zebulon’s Neville Burton was another golfer who didn’t have to attend Tuesday’s match to finish atop the pack for the regular season. His teammate, William Lewis, had also done enough prior damage to take second on the season in the age group without competing Tuesday.
Zebulon’s boys and Willow Springs’ girls each qualified to field a team of 12 in the league finals, slated for Monday at 9 a.m. at Birchwood Country Club in Nashville.
The top players in each age group who aren’t on a winning team also qualified for the finals and several other players were invited to compete. A total of about 120 youth golfers from all Eastern N.C. Junior Golf League divisions are expected to play in the match.
Zebulon’s finals roster consists of Bennett, Brian Bowden, Burton, Daniel Carter, Robert Driver, Henderson, Mason Horton, Connor Jones, Lewis, McShea, Chance Puckett and Windley of the boys’ team and Stevie May Almond of the girls.
For Wendell, Reed Miller and Yeargin were invited to compete in the finals in the place of Hayes, who will be out of town. Wendell girls golfers Hannah Finch and Skyler Pritchett were also extended an invite.
Other local golfers’ scores from Tuesday are as follows:
10-11 Boys: Zebulon’s Carter (41) tied for fourth place, while his teammate Puckett shot 51. Wendell was led by Davis Clemmons (56), Baker Lee (58) and Sam Parrish (65).
10-13 Girls: Wendell golfers Finch and Pritchett shot 69 and 71, respectively – combining to add one point to their team’s score Tuesday.
12-13 Boys: Either of Wendell teammates Evan King or Miller could have taken credit for a second-place finish, as each carded a round of 40 Tuesday. The points were awarded to Miller, who competed in every match this season. Also for Wendell, Justin Poole shot 43 and Eric Sunderlin shot 52.
Peyton Weatherspoon fired a 45 for Zebulon and followed by Jackson Anderson (47), Drake Weatherspoon (52), Wade Creech (55) and Evan Canton (57).
14-15 Boys: Zebulon’s Bowden carded a 39 while his teammates Driver and Evan Bunn shot 46 and 62, respectively.
16-18 Boys: Jones was the only local golfer to compete in the age division Tuesday. His round of 42 was good for fourth place.