ZEBULON — The Zebulon and Wendell Country Clubs are falling behind in the race for a 2014 N.C. Junior Golf League title.
Far ahead of both squads is the Willow Spring Country Club boys team (81.5), after scoring a dominant 31 points at Zebulon CC on Tuesday, July 8. The River Golf and Country Club (24.0) finished second with 10.5 points in Tuesday's tournament. The Zebulon boys (36.5) just barely edged out the Wendell boys (31.0) for third place, 8.5-8.0. Birchwood Country Club (5.0) finished last.
Zebulon has won five of the last six NCJGL boys titles, including each of the past four. As the host team on Tuesday, Zebulon was particularly disappointed with the decisive defeat.
“We were missing a lot of our best golfers today,” Zebulon golf coach Rocky Winstead said. “We are trying to fend off Wendell and The River for second place from here on out.”
Three golfers, including Zebulon's William Lewis, shot an even par (36), which was the day's low score. Lewis, the only one to do so in the 16-18 boys bracket, earned Zebulon a team-high 4.5 points. The other two golfers to shoot a 36—one a 10-11 boy, the other a 14-15 boy—were both members of the Willow Springs team.
The only other local golfers to register more than a half-point (awarded for completing nine holes) were members of the 14-15 boys grouping. Wendell's Justin Poole came in second-place after shooting a 39, while Reed Miller of Wendell and Braxton Johnson of Zebulon tied for fourth with a score of 48.
On the girls side, no local golfer competed in the 14-18 bracket. However, Zebulon's Stevie Mae Almoney won the 10-13 age group by default with a score of 56, as she was the only golfer to compete in that bracket.
The Willow Springs girls (25.5) added to their commanding lead with a 10.5-point, first-place finish at Zebulon. The Zebulon girls (11.5) gained some ground on The River girls (16.0) by beating them out for second place, 4.5-2.5. Neither Wendell (3.0) nor Birchwood (0.0) recorded a point on the girls side.
Other local scores include:
10-11 Boys: Wendell's Sam Sollinger registered a 63. All three Zebulon golfers in this age group did not compete on Tuesday.
12-13 Boys: Presley Johnson of Zebulon was the day's best local golfer in this age group with a score of 43, and his teammate Chance Puckett (48) was not far behind. Wendell's Eric Sunderland shot a 48, followed by teammates David Clemmons (51) and Hunter Best (61).
14-15 Boys: For Zebulon, Kelsey Selna scored a 50, Ryan Moss a 51, Evan Bunn a 53 and Justin Daniel a 68. Wendell's Mason Hall also competed in this group, finishing with a 63.
16-18 Boys: Wendell's Justin Tart led his team with a 43, and teammate Brady Best finished behind him with a 52. The two Zebulon golfers other than Lewis in this group did not compete on Tuesday.
The nine-hole tournament at Zebulon CC was the third of the summer. Previous tournaments have been held at Willow Springs CC and Birchwood CC. Wendell CC is slated to host its tournament on Tuesday, July 15, with the final match of the summer taking place at The River CC two weeks later.