04/22/08 — Rain washes out ECC golf

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Rain washes out ECC golf

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on April 22, 2008 1:49 PM

Too close for comfort.

Team scoring during the first three Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference golf matches has had coaches sweating bullets, but on Monday afternoon it was Mother Nature that brought about the tense moments.

After players began the day under partly sunny skies at Lane Tree Golf Club, the window of prime weather closed, and the regular-season match was canceled.

"There just was nothing we could do about the rain," said Charles B. Aycock head coach Rick Smith. "It's unfortunate for our guys, because this is our home course and we usually play pretty well here."

Two hours into the match, dark clouds engulfed the course and hail began pelting players on the back nine. Shortly thereafter a heavy downpour and sightings of lightning forced the pro-shop attendant to sound the weather horn and bring the players to the clubhouse.

After a 35-minute delay, all six coaches got together and decided to be safe rather than sorry.

"It's really too bad, because some of our guys were playing really solid golf today," said Smith. "But we can't take any chances."

Due to the varying number of holes completed by different pairings, the coaches' options were limited.

"We had some groups that had played nine holes, and some that had only played seven, so we couldn't even shorten the match and take nine-hole scores," Smith said.

A shortage of makeup days forced the coaches to come up with some creative scheduling. Monday's match will be played May 1, in place of the season-ending conference tournament, which was also slated for Lane Tree.

"We are going to score it like a regular meet," said Smith. "We have a makeup already scheduled for Wednesday, and a regular-season match next Monday so we had to come up with a way to get this one in before the regional."

The May 1 date will give the players a chance to see the Lane Tree terrain in it's entirety before the country club hosts both the N.C. High School Athletic Association 2-A and 3-A eastern regionals, slated for May 5 and 6, respectively.

"The course is in great shape, and this rain will help it even more," said Smith. "Next week we'll get a chance to play here again, and prepare for regionals. We know we have to get those in during one day, so if it rains we'll just have to wait it out."