04/24/07 — Golden Falcons whips up on ECC rivals

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Golden Falcons whips up on ECC rivals

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 24, 2007 2:30 PM

Confident and anxious to play on its home course, the Charles B. Aycock men's golf team turned in a dominating performance Monday afternoon at Lane Tree Golf Club.

Will Vinson seized medalist honors with a 2-over par 72 and the Golden Falcons emerged the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference leader after five regular-season tournaments. Aycock posted a four-player, season-low total of 310 and exited with a 15-stroke advantage over Wilson Hunt.

Hunt entered the day with a slim two-stroke lead.

"We were tickled to get out of Wilson (in contention) and knew that once we'd get on our home course, we'd step up our performance coming down the stretch," said second-year CBA head coach Jay Westbrook. "That's what we did today. These are the best six scores I've seen at CBA since I've been coaching."

Charles Cranford carded a third-place score of 4-over 76, followed by Heyward Jeffreys with a 79. Senior Lee Carter fired a career-best 81 along with Austin Forrest and Jordan Elmore.

The Warriors, who received 81s from Cole Stoiber and Paul Howell, fashioned a 327. Eastern Wayne ended up third at 335, followed by Wilson Beddingfield (337), Southern Wayne (353) and Kinston (355).

Eastern Wayne gained two strokes on Beddingfield and tightened the team race for third place overall. Kyle Ham, an all-ECC performer last season, led the Warriors with an 18-hole round of 80.

The top three teams qualify for the eastern regionals.

"We had three good scores, but you've got to have four," said Eastern Wayne coach Jerry Pelt. "We've just got to get a little more consistent. We're capable of coming back, but it's going to take a good match.

"The good thing is we're playing on our home course (next week). We're looking forward to that and let the chips fall (where they may)."

Vinson, a senior, has wrestled with consistency all season. Before returning to Lane Tree, his previous best in conference play was a 77 at Wedgewood Golf Course.

Once play began, he recorded a chip-in for birdie on No. 10 and rode the momentum from there. Vinson shot a combined 1-over on the par-5 holes and bogeyed No. 9 -- his final hole -- when a unmarked ground-under-repair cost him a stroke.

"I couldn't really stick anything because of the wind," said Vinson of his 18-hole effort. "When I got on the greens, the putts weren't falling. (Medaling) is like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders after the really bad start I've had.

"It could have been lower, but I'll take it under the conditions."

Beddingfield freshman Matthew Ellis finished runner-up to Vinson with a 3-over 75. It was his second-lowest output in ECC play and allowed him to keep a 303-304 lead over teammate Mark Whitley in the season-long individual medal race.

Ellis admitted Lane Tree presented a formidable challenge.

"It's a lot different than the courses in Wilson because it's a lot hillier and has subtle breaks around the holes," said Ellis. "It's a different course than what I'm used to (playing). I made a lot of pars and that's what really helped me.

"I didn't make a lot of bad mistakes. I got it around the green; up and down and two-putted every time."

Two strokes separate the top three golfers in the individual medal standings. Ham is third at 305, followed by Vinson (310) and Hunt's Paul Howell (314).

Vinson was more concerned about the team chase.

"We got the win and that was most important," he said. "This is definitely the match that we look forward to every year and we expect to win here because it's our home course.

"To lose here would be a big disappointment."

Monday's team scores

1. C.B. Aycock 310

2. Wilson Hunt 327

3. Wilson Beddingfield 337

4. Eastern Wayne 335

5. Southern Wayne 353

6. Kinston 355

Top 11 individual scores

1. Will Vinson, C.B. Aycock 74

2. Matt Ellis, Beddingfield 75

3. Charles Cranford, CBA 76

4. Heyward Jeffreys, CBA 79

4. Matt Whitley, Beddingfield 79

6. Kyle Ham, E. Wayne 80

7. Lee Carter, CBA 81

7. Austin Forrest, CBA 81

7. Nick Barrow, EW 81

7. Cole Stoiber, Hunt 81

7. Paul Howell, Hunt 81

Overall team scores

(Through 5 tournaments)

1. C.B. Aycock 1605

2. Wilson Hunt 1620

3. Wilson Beddingfield 1644

4. Eastern Wayne 1657

5. Southern Wayne 1800

6. Kinston 1801

Overall individual leaders

(Top 4 scores combined through 5 matches)

1. Matt Ellis, Beddingfield 303

2. Mark Whitley, Beddingfield 304

3. Kyle Ham, EW 305

4. Will Vinson, CBA 310

5. Paul Howell, Hunt 314

6. Charles Cranford, CBA 318

7. Cole Stoiber, Hunt 321

7. Jordan Elmore, CBA 321

7. Austin Forrest, CBA 321

10. Nick Barrow, EW 323