03/11/08 — Goldsboro golfers learning on the course

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Goldsboro golfers learning on the course

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 11, 2008 2:37 PM

Rebuilding is not just the theme of the season for the Goldsboro High School golf team, it's the theme of the program. After a decade hiatus, the Cougars began their second consecutive slate of Class 2-A Eastern Plains Conference matches at Goldsboro Municipal Golf Club, Monday.

With just two players returning from last year's squad, Goldsboro coach Al Sutherland has to start from scratch ... again.

"We have two guys back from last year and the rest are new, with very little golf experience," Sutherland said. "We had a couple guys that decided they wanted to play baseball this spring, one with eligibility issues from last semester and one that has joined the drill team."

Bringing in players that are high in ambition, but low in technical skills presents a new set of challenges at each practice, and now in match play.

"We had to start with the grip of the golf club, and once we got that down we worked on stance. Now we are working on the whole swing," Sutherland said. "Today is our first match, because we didn't get any non-conference matches on the schedule in time. Those would have been big, so we could practice the etiquette of the game ... and the intricacies."

Taking small steps is the name of Sutherland's game.

"I just want our guys to learn, improve, and get better with each match," Sutherland said.

The lessons began with an impressive performance from perennial power North Lenoir, which carded a meet-winning, four-player total of 302. Thomas Faulkner earned medalist honors with a 1-under par 71. Teammates Michael Hardy and Will Norville contributed a 72 and 73, respectively.

"That's a very good score ... probably good enough to win the regional," Greene Central coach Lewis Godwin said at the post-round scoring table.

Recent aeration to the greens, left some of the putting surfaces bumpy uneven, but Faulkner did not seem to mind.

"Today the course was in great shape, and you have to remember that everyone is playing on the same greens," Faulkner said. "I kept the ball in play and avoided the hazards by playing well from the tee."

Faulkner did have his ups and downs.

"I put it in the bunker on the first par 3 of the front nine. I took a bogey that I shouldn't have. Then I made an eagle on 18 by sinking a twenty-foot putt after two very good shots. That was probably the high point," Faulkner said.

Goldsboro finished sixth on the day in the team standings, while Greene Central came in fourth. Chase Harris led the Rams with an 87, and Josh Marsh shot an 88.